Esteban Ocon, Force India, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Ocon blames Raikkonen for crash but stewards clear both

2018 Azerbijan Grand Prix

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The stewards have taken no action against Kimi Raikkonen and Esteban Ocon over the first-lap crash which put the Force India driver out of the race.

However Ocon blamed the Ferrari driver for ending his race on the first lap.

“I beat Kimi into turn two,” said Ocon. “I was ahead, he was behind. I braked into the corner. Suddenly Kimi reappeared and then I’m in the wall. That’s how I see it. It was unnecessary to take that risk in that moment.”

“It’s not my fault, I’ve been the one launched,” he added. “In DTM the rule is that when you touch someone into the back, you made him spin or launch him into the wall, the guys gets the penalty.”

However according to the stewards Raikkonen “conceded that the collision was typical of a first lap racing ‘incident’.”

“[Ocon] stated that the last vision he had of car seven was on the straight after turn two which the two cars had successfully negotiated and that he had not seen car seven on the inside into turn three,” they added.

“The driver of car 31 accepted the comments of the stewards that a driver should not assume another car is not in his proximity just because he cannot see one, as it is well known that vision from the current cars is not optimum in some positions.”

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Keith Collantine
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36 comments on “Ocon blames Raikkonen for crash but stewards clear both”

  1. You can only squeeze so much

  2. Cant see how it was Kino’s fault. He was on the inside and Esteban kept squeezing him. He should’ve left more room… Another missed opportunity for him at Baku

    1. @fer-no65 but also the first one at corner entry holds the racing line and the second has to yield? No one at fault imo, first lap incident. What’s a shame is that he would probably have kept his place even by cornering outside, so he misjudged and his race ended.

      1. No, that’s assuming these guys can shed speed faster than they already are going into a corner. They can’t, they brake at the last possible minute and use all of their braking capacity to make the corner. Se also RIC – VER

  3. Hopefully Ocon watched the replay and realized it all didn’t happen they he remembered it.

    1. I think it happened exactly as he remembered it. Kimi appeared alongside very late and ocon would have had already been starting to put the input into the wheel. Kimi did not have to go for that move but chose to take the risk. I am not sure Ocon could have known he was there until it was too late and I am not sure that kimi had enough room to take the corner properly even if ocon had given more room.

      I agree that it was a racing incident butI would put slightly more blame on Kimi than Ocon.

  4. It was a clumsy incident from both of them. Although it is hard to say without seeing another replay, it looked like Kimi could have committed fully and may have got the place. But after he backed out so late his car was never going to disappear. Regardless of whether it is Kimi’s fault, this is where a more experienced driver might have known to leave a space on the inside

    1. Exact, take the first overtake of Riccardo on Verstappen and he took the right line to avoid collision. Yes Max got back at him at the next corner but at least you keep your chance and more importantly he keeps racing…
      Still waiting for some comments from Occon recognizing (part of) the blame. He is reaching the end of his excuse book…

  5. Typical blaming of the so-called innocent party. Even though, Ocon is one of my favorite drivers; this particular incident was 100% his fault as he closed the door entirely at the last minute. Kimi was obligated to more space than he was given due to how significant portion of his car he already had side-by-side with Ocon’s car. Nevertheless, I can agree with the Stewards’ decision.

    1. Dont really follow either (Kimi or Ocon) but perhaps Ocon wasn’t “closing” as much as taking the racing line… is a tight corner after all….I am just saying….I hope I don’t offend any of Kimi’s fans :)

      1. Nah. Kimi fans are cheerful chaps. We could even appreciate your username and profile pic.

      2. @f1supremo Just to add: I could’ve included in my original comment that Kimi’s also one of my favorites, but I view any given on-track incident the way I see them regardless of which drivers are involved.

        1. I’ll take your words for it…sometimes I read from messages that the “first car to the corner has the line”. I also read that “drivers should leave space for cars on the side”. Don’t really know how to consolidate the two. If I was an Ocon fan, I would blame Kimi. If I was a Kimi fan, I would blame Ocon. In the end, I am just a chap siting in my home watching great racing.

          …Didn’t really get the point about username and profile pic. I feel that some folks take this messaging thing too seriously….times ARE changing….

  6. This is why I don’t like ocon. This is his fault. He could said I didn’t see him, sorry and move on.

    1. Agree. Not because he is trying to divert blame once, but because its becoming a pattern. If not just a racing incident, Raikonnen had enough of the inside for Ocon to leave room for both..

  7. Come on, Ocon – it is first lap, turn 3 on a dense track – You can’t just turn into the corner as if You own it. I don’t think Kimi could have known for sure that Ocon wouldn’t leave the space on the inside, as he was more than halfway side by side with Ocon.

    1. He was only halfway alongside very late on. I would say on a corner that tight that you would expect the door to be closed very quickly rather than expecting that the other driver has seen you and will give you room. Ocon should maybe have gone wider but then Kimi could also have realised to move was too risky and backed off sooner.

  8. Ocon’s fault 100%. He didn’t see RAI or didn’t want to give him space at all. That was very “Max” of him and it ended in tears, like it usually does, especially in the first lap of a race when it’s all chaotic.

    Also, this Baku track is too crash prone, which leads to SC, which leads to other incidents due to restarts and the powerful tow on the long straight. It’s not a track where great racing is bound to happen, more like bumper cars. Such a shame for BOT though.

    1. @gerichan the track is also very narrow at certain parts, which prevents drivers going side by side by side but as a Tilkedrome it ticks all the boxes and is it just me or is Sochi, Baku in reverse/anticlockwise?

  9. Not a fan of Ocon, he saw Kimi alongside and chose not to give him the space, did a chop on him and got all that he deserved on this occasion.

  10. Kimi got squeezed and Ocon crashed himself. It seems pretty simple to me bc Kimi was beside him before going into the corner. You can’t drive over someone on your inside. Kimi has the right to try and over take

  11. Kimi got squeezed and Ocon crashed himself. It seems pretty simple to me bc Kimi was beside him before going into the corner. You can’t drive over someone on your inside. Kimi has the right to try and over take im not a fan of either so I have no biases on this

  12. I understand people saying that Ocon should have left space on the inside, but to me this is a corner that only has one line, if he’d tried to run around the outside Kimi probably would have squeezed him into the wall on the exit. The only way I see them both making it through is if he gives in and allows Kimi to come through, which considering their relative positions is asking too much.

    As I see it, Kimi should have backed out when it was clear he wasn’t going to get fully alongside to make a clean pass.

    1. if you look at RIC in his fights with Max, he always left a lot of room for both to go through the corner, especially at Turn 1 when i’ve seen him go really really wide to allow his teammate not to crash into him.

      I think Ocon could have done the same, take that corner further away from the apex. Sure, he would have lost some speed, but probably kept the position (given that Kimi would have lost even more speed due to using the slower, inside line) and still be in the race. I bet he kicks himself for not being more patient, looking at where PER finished in the sister car.

  13. Where’s the part he basically called Kimi washed up and shouldn’t be driving a Ferrari.

  14. GtisBetter (@)
    29th April 2018, 22:59

    I have no idea how people can blame Ocon. Kimi does a divebomb and ocon is still ahead when they reach the corner and just drives the racing line. He has every right to be mad.

  15. Sorry Esteban, No driver on the grid can vanish into thin air, you can’t take the apex of a corner if there’s a car on your inside and expect them to not be there anymore. It’s not even a racing incident for me, there’s only one driver who can avoid contact there and it aint Kimi, he had nowhere to go, Ocon did.

  16. At the start of the braking zone, it’s clear that Raikkonen was fully alongside Ocon. Calling it a divebomb gone wrong is completely untrue. Raikkonen braked harder to make the corner, once he’s realised that he wouldn’t be able to complete the move under braking. At that point, Ocon noses ahead, but not by enough to warrant the racing line he took.
    He can flex his DTM muscles as much as he wants, but I doubt there are too many sensible people who feel Raikkonen warranted a penalty for that. I was quite shocked at Szaufner’s response, so indignant, incensed and wronged. It kinda made me wonder if Force India have ever forgiven Raikkonen for ruining their Monaco race ten years ago..

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      30th April 2018, 8:52

      Kimi hit the kerbs and would have gone to the outside and have taken Ocon with him just like he and bottas last year. Kimi was very aggressive. It’s still a racing accident in my view though, but Kimi could have been smarter about it.

      1. @passingisoverrated if you slow down sufficiently, which Kimi did, even if you hit a kerb on turn-in it won’t launch you to the exit kerb. Bottas had that last year because he was carrying way too much speed last year on the inside.

    2. @wsrgo ”It kinda made me wonder if Force India have ever forgiven Raikkonen for ruining their Monaco race ten years ago..”
      – I doubt that’d be the case, but of course, it’s impossible to know for sure from the outside, so, therefore, it’s possible, but still, doubtful considering how long it’s been since that race.

  17. Ocon needs a mirror

    1. +10 hahahahahah goood one

  18. luck run out for Ocon, he usually is the survivor in those clashes, nice he didn’t clash into team mate this time.

  19. A wise man once said “all the time you have to leave the space”!

  20. I might be repeating myself too much after this race, but once again, this is FORMULA 1. Formula means it is all about rules. So, whatever the question is, the right answer is never going to be “I feel that” or “I think that”. The right answer is always “The rule says”.

    I think what the rule says in this case is that you have to leave one car’s width, and Ocon didn’t, therefore it’s Ocon’s fault. I might be wrong, though, and I would appreciate it if somebody pointed us to the rule that applies in this case.

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