Daniel Ricciardo crashes during practice at the Styrian GP
Daniel Ricciardo crashes during practice at the Styrian GP Image Credit: Reuters

Fernando Alonso had every reason to raise an eyebrow Friday when Daniel Ricciardo said he could not explain the cause of his high-speed crash in practice for this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix.

Just three days after it was confirmed that the two-time champion had agreed to return and succeed the Australian, when he joins McLaren next season, his future car hit the barriers at Turn Nine of the Red Bull Ring.

“That first push lap was going quite well, up until Turn 9,” said Ricciardo. “It was a mistake. It all happened very quickly, so I’m not sure what went wrong.

“I turned in and just lost the car straightaway. I know these things happen with cars and in Formula One, so it’s not out of the ordinary. I’m OK, but I feel bad for the guys.”

Ricciardo lost control when his car spun backwards and slammed into the barriers, wrecking much of the rear of the vehicle.

He was able to haul himself out of the cockpit and to limp away through a gravel trap, but he was clearly shaken.

After a visit to the circuit medical centre, he was passed fit to drive again on Saturday.

His teammate Esteban Ocon had no incidents and wound up 10th at the end of second practice, a session that may be used to decide grid positions if forecast rainstorms on Saturday wash out qualifying.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen posted the fastest time and Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton lacked pace in the second practice session.