‘There will be more opportunities for us’ says Ocon after brake fire rules him out of Mugello race
In a race with just 12 finishers – one of whom was his Renault team mate Daniel Ricciardo in P4 – Esteban Ocon was understandably disappointed that his Tuscan Grand Prix lasted no longer than seven laps. But the Frenchman was taking the positives away from Mugello, as he eyed up more opportunities at “crazy” races in the future.
Renault downplayed their chances ahead of the inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix, feeling that the Mugello track was unlikely to suit their R.S.20 package, and were therefore pleased when Ricciardo qualified eighth, as Ocon took P10 after spinning on his only flying lap in Q3.
But running behind the Safety Car in the early race laps saw Ocon’s brakes catch on fire – and although a subsequent red flag stoppage theoretically gave Renault an opportunity to change them, the team were forced to retire Ocon’s car from 10th place before the restart.
“We had a brake overheating issue,” explained Ocon after the race. “Basically under the Safety Car the rear brakes were on fire, which caused damage to the rear of the car and the brake line, I think. We couldn’t just put the car back together before the red flag, so we retired unfortunately.”
Asked if he was annoyed to have retired so early on in the proceedings – and with some relatively easy points seemingly up for grabs – Ocon replied: “Well, I think we were in a good position. I did a good start but had to go around Carlos [Sainz], so I lost a couple of positions there, because he spun. But from there, we had good pace, and we thought we could be in a strong position.
“It’s getting pretty crazy every race this year, which is very interesting,” he added. “There will be more opportunities for us this year.”
The good news for Renault was that Ocon’s team mate Ricciardo’s 12 points for P4 in the race – as Ferrari secured just five at their 1,000th Grand Prix – allowed the fifth-placed Anglo-French team to pull clear of Ferrari in the constructors’ standings, with 17 points now the difference between the two squads, while Racing Point are just nine ahead of Renault in P4.
Constructors' standings ahead of the Russian GP
|2 Red Bull Racing||173|
|4 Racing Point||92|