RACE DEBRIEF

    Esteban Ocon swept up the last point up for grabs at Monza, but the Alpine driver was far from happy after two incidents blotted his Italian Grand Prix performance. The Frenchman offered a frank opinion of what he thought after Sunday’s race.

    There was much to cheer about for Alpine as they secured a double-points finish in Italy, consolidating P5 in the championship while both AlphaTauris retired and only one Aston Martin – of Lance Stroll – finished in the points. But Ocon felt frustrated when he was given a five-second penalty for squeezing Vettel wide in a wheel-to-wheel battle towards the second chicane and causing a minor collision (see he video below).

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    He said: “I don’t think it reflects the work that we’ve done this weekend, clearly. I think that we’ve worked extremely hard on a difficult weekend and we lost, you know, we lost out on some racing incidents, which, for once, I disagree with the stewards on what happened in the race."

    2021 Italian Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel makes contact with Esteban Ocon

    Ocon used the example of Lewis Hamilton’s battle for victory with Charles Leclerc in 2019 at the same track (which you can see in the video below) as an example of why he shouldn’t have been penalised: “I got the five-second penalty for Seb; you know, the same happened to Lewis and Charles in 2019, so the track basically becomes more narrow, and we had a little contact but no damage between the two cars. That five seconds was quite costly in the end…”

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    The Frenchman was referring to an incident in which Hamilton and Leclerc duelled for the lead of the 2019 Italian GP where on Lap 23, Hamilton was squeezed wide at the very same (della Roggia) chicane with Leclerc getting a black-and-white flag. Ocon was also annoyed by the Stewards’ decision to make him return P10 to Williams’ Nicholas Latifi at the start of the race, which he did soon after.

    He continued: “And also I had to give the position back to Nicholas [Latifi] at the start, which, to me, doesn’t feel correct because I didn’t really gain an advantage on that one. And even in the race we managed to score points with both cars, we clearly extracted a good amount of performance from it.

    “It’s a bit frustrating, but we’ll come back stronger in the next one,” he concluded.

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