Ocon relieved ‘painful’ Red Bull Ring double is over after Austrian GP Lap 1 exit extends point-less streak
Esteban Ocon’s Austrian Grand Prix didn't even last a full lap after he was tagged by Antonio Giovinazzi on the opening tour and retired due to suspension damage, and it left the Alpine driver wondering when he will catch a break…
The Frenchman’s race ended at Turn 3 on Lap 1 as he was sandwiched between Haas’s Mick Schumacher and Alfa’s Giovinazzi, the resultant contact from the Italian damaging his front-right suspension, forcing him to crawl to a halt between that corner and Turn 4, as the Safety Car was deployed to allow the marshals to clear his car.
“We don’t seem to catch a break today or even last week. The whole two weeks in Austria haven’t been fun, for sure,” he said. “They’ve been painful at times, difficult, but you know I think we need to restart fresh in Silverstone, reset and prepare it the best way we can. Let’s forget this weekend and have a good start in Silverstone.”
Having qualified 17th in Austria, Ocon added that starting further up the grid would have helped him avoid such an accident. But he refused to apportion blame to Giovinazzi for it.
“I watched it. I don’t think Antonio was aware that [I was] next to him so he squeezed a bit, but I think it’s a racing incident – no one to blame,” he said.
“Obviously starting further back has some consequences on the race also, with racing incidents and stuff like that, so, it hasn’t been the two smooth weekends but we will come out of it stronger and together as a team,” he maintained.
Next up is one of Alpine’s home races as the Enstone/Viry squad aim to claw back points in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone – with Fernando Alonso having finished 10th in Austria to keep them 12 points behind Aston Martin in the championship.