The pair made contact when Ricciardo made a move on the inside of the tight right-hander as they battled for 11th place on the 51st lap.
The Tsunoda driver returned to the pits, but was forced to retire due to damage.
FIA stewards soon handed Ricciardo a 10-second penalty. However, his recovery was aided by the fact that he was one of the few riders to switch to soft tires for the latter part of the race.
Against all odds, he moved up to seventh at the flag and was well ahead Esteban Ocan that the effect of the fine was nullified.
Ricardo said he doesn’t take full blame for the previous incident, suggesting Tsunoda could have left him more room.
“I’ve seen some replays,” he said. “I mean, I’ll take more responsibility, but of course I don’t feel like it was 100 to zero in terms of my fault. I didn’t block, I stayed on top, but I don’t really plan or want to overtake him there.
“I mean, of course I would have liked to overtake him, I wasn’t in that corner to get ahead of him and overtake him. I just thought if I stay there… It’s nothing that you probably don’t know, but the whole handle is on the inside of that corner. It is very dusty.
“So I thought if I could just hang in there, hold it a little bit on the foul line, I’d find a better way out. Look, we probably should have given each other another 20-30 inches, and we’re all in probably not even that.
“I wish it hadn’t happened and I’m very sorry it happened, but I think 10 seconds was more than enough and somehow we still got through.”
Ricardo admitted that he expected a penalty.
“Yeah, I thought they probably should have done something. But it’s also very difficult for me when you’re in the heat of battle, but I didn’t remember closing. With Carlos [Sainz] at Imola Turn 1 when I came off the top and slid into him. It didn’t feel like that.
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL36
Photo: Andy Hone / Images of motor sports
“So I was going to come on the radio and vent a little bit, but I just decided to stay quiet. I went pretty dark and then I just decided to keep pushing and try to make up for it.”
Ricciardo said he felt very comfortable on the soft tyre.
“I didn’t care at that point,” he said. “Because I had nothing to lose and once I got out of the pits the tire was much better. I could lean on her and feel like I was in control.
“So I thought, let’s just use this tire, see what it gets. And then it remained relatively stable. So I was kind of pushing hard, then just trying to steer her and she was still giving me a lot more pace. “
“The last few laps I was really nervous because George was so close to getting the blue flag for me. And I knew I would lose a couple of seconds.
“And that would have put me back in Ocon. So I was pushing like hell to try to keep that two-second gap. And then when I heard he pitted for the fastest lap, he’s probably not thinking about it and he doesn’t know, but I’ll buy him a beer anyway!’