Ocon gets grid penalty for Canada


Esteban Ocon has been hit with a 5-place grid penalty in Montreal following today's clash with teammate Pierre Gasly.

The Frenchman attempted to overtake his teammate at Portier, the cars coming together with Ocon's being flung into the air.

As the race was red-flagged shortly after, the cars returned to the pits but Ocon subsequently retired due to the damage incurred.

It was clear to the stewards that the collision was caused solely by the overly ambitious overtaking attempt, from too far back, by Ocon who was therefore wholly to blame for the incident.

The baseline penalty for causing a collision this season is a 10 second time penalty and this is what the stewards imposed.

However, given that the Frenchman did not finish the race, the penalty was converted to a drop of 5 grid positions at the next race.

"It was a hard launch in the air and a hard landing," Ocon told reporters shortly after, admitting that he had yet to see a replay, "but I've had worse days on that side of things. I think on that side of things I'm ok.

"Obviously it's an unfortunate incident to retire early in the race, after a long race that was going to go late on. A tough one," he added. "We tried to basically put the car back in the garage, so pulled out of the fast lane to try and repair what we could repair, but unfortunately we discovered too much damage sustained."

"Today's incident was my fault," admitted Ocon in a post on social media, having finally seen a replay, "the gap was too small in the end and I apologise to the team on this one. Hoping for a deserved points-finish for the team today."

"This kind of incident is quite sad," team boss Bruno Famin told Canal Plus. "Esteban's attack on Gasly was exactly what we did not want to see and we will draw the consequences."

Luckily, teammate Gasly went on to finish tenth, thereby doubling the French team's points tally for the season.

"It was very unnecessary," he said of the clash, "you should never have such a situation, especially between team-mates.

"Just sad," he added. "Disappointed with the situation. Especially as we had clear instructions before the race on what to do, and whoever qualified ahead, the trailing car was supposed to help throughout the race. That was the strategy.

"Unfortunately, it didn't happen. We definitely need to speak because we can't afford it, especially in a season like this. At the time, we're P9 and P10, so there's absolutely no reason to risk to get both cars out. We came a couple of centimetres from having both cars in the wall."

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Published: 26/05/2024
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