Tyre gamble "paid off" says Ocon


The only driver to go the entire race distance on one set of tyres, Esteban Ocon insists that the gamble "paid off".

Ahead of the race, Pirelli had advised teams not to try making one set of tyres last the 58 laps, warning of the potential risk of tyre damage.

However, as the race progressed, leaving Esteban Ocon one of only three drivers still to pit, the Frenchman, who had climbed as high as eighth, continued, even after Hamilton and Leclerc had finally 'succumbed'.

Finishing the afternoon tenth, scoring his team's sole point on a weekend that promised so much, Ocon admitted that it was a risky gamble but one worth taking.

"I don't know when is the last time that nobody had a pit stop," joked the Frenchman. "It was a risk today that we took.

"It paid off in the end because we got a point out of it," he added. "It doesn't look great in the end, that tyre! I think we'll hang it on the wall in the factory. It's good because, as I said, it paid off.

"There was a lot of discussion," he said of radio chatter with his engineer during the race, "but in my head it was pretty clear that we had to try and get something out of that, because last year I had the incident in the first lap, and basically from there on I drove on intermediates the whole race as well.

"So I thought if last year was the case, maybe this year we could do the same, and this year we did one more lap than that, so it was good.

"It was tricky at the end," he admitted, "a couple more corners and I would’ve lost that point. One more lap, I think we would’ve got a puncture.

"It was a risky bet, we made it work today. It’s good to have a reward in the end, I’m pretty pleased to get that point for everybody.

"It’s not the best weekend for us, clearly," he added. "That one point probably saves it a bit, but we have some work to do to come back to the level of performance we had a couple of races ago. We need to keep on top of that for Austin."

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Published: 11/10/2021
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