Daniel Ricciardo in heavy crash with Alex Albon on first lap of Japanese Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo retired a matter of seconds into Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix after a heavy crash involving Alex Albon at Suzuka.

Ricciardo, starting 11th on the grid, was running ahead of Williams driver Albon coming out of turn one following a good start off the line.

However, Albon dived down the inside at turn two, with Ricciardo’s RB wheel clipping the Williams car and forcing it off track.

Both cars then rapidly slammed into the tyre barrier, resulting in a quick red flag from race control in Japan to stop the race.

Ricciardo and Albon managed to leave the car unaided, with both drivers reported to be “OK.”

The stewards designated the collision as a “lap one racing incident” with no blame attached to either driver.

Ricciardo said afterwards: “It was all very much under a racing incident. Yuki [Tsunoda, team-mate] and myself struggled a lot on the medium [tyre] at the start. Got away poorly and cars around us ate us up.

“I could see an Aston [Lance Stroll] on the outside and to be honest, I didn’t see Alex. Everyone got bottled up in turn three. Not the way you want Sunday to go. In hindsight, we should have put a soft [tyre] on. That’s what happens.”

Albon added: “[It’s] frustrating and disappointing. We haven’t had a great year so far.

“We’ve had a lot of damage the last two weekends. Hopefully the crash wasn’t so bad for the monocoque and car itself - and we get ready for China.”

Ricciardo, 34, is already under pressure this season with team-mate Yuki Tsunoda impressing in the Red Bull sister car and scoring another point with a P10 finish at his home race on Sudnay.

Reserve driver Liam Lawson is waiting in the wings and recent reports state Ricciardo has a matter of races to improve his performance, with his seat shrouded in doubt.

As for Albon, his crash in practice at the last race in Australia resulted in Logan Sargeant missing out on the action in Melbourne.

Williams will be disappointed at another damaged chassis now in Japan, with the next race of the season in two weeks in China.

Max Verstappen kept his lead from Sergio Perez at the start, with the top-10 around safely before the heavy crash further back. Verstappen went on to lead home another Red Bull one-two, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz completing the podium.