As a long time F1 fan this really annoys me. I don’t like it that track limits are hardly ever enforced, because there sometimes “seems no advantage to abusing the track limits”. In this particular case it can be PROVEN that this was; A. an incident and not intentional. B. not beneficial to Ricciardo or the Renault team. C. of no effect on the qualification outcome.
What the FIA (to my opinion) should have done is disallow the time of this particular lap, since the increase of power was incidental. In the race this would be a warning, and the second time a 5sec penalty.
If you repeatedly abuse track limits on the same location on the track (e.g. it is no longer an incident) now that seems a good reason to exclude someone from a session (Since they don’t seem to intend to play by the rules of said session anyway). Regardless if it advantages to run off track or not. If the FIA want car to race on a piece of asphalt outside of the track, make it part of the track.
The FIA should be more lenient on one off incidents. They should be more firm on repeat offences. I like the new black&white flag application. It’s sort of saying: “Hey boy, you’re crossing a line and we don’t like that. We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt you didn’t do it on purpose, but next time you’re out!”.
Maybe these technical infringements could even be carried over races. Eg. if renault would have had a warning for a similar incident in Monza or Spa, the FIA could have said: “I think you guys are trying to bend the rules, we don’t like that so bugger off”. But if it is a first time, one off… jeez no need to exclude.