Esteban Ocon, Force India, Suzuka, 2018

Ocon “not happy with my weekend” after ninth place

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In the round-up: Esteban Ocon says he isn’t happy with how his weekend went despite scoring points for ninth place.

What they say

Ocon received a three-place grid penalty which dropped him behind team mate Sergio Perez.

[I’m] not happy with our weekend, with my weekend. We were, I think, clearly the fourth fastest team but I think with the penalty it dictated the race weekend.

We managed to grab some positions at the start, then in the race with overtakes, but even if the race we did well I’m not satisfied.

Next race we have to qualify better, not make mistakes and then we can pull away from everyone.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Ferrari is replacing Kimi Raikkonen, but should it drop Sebastian Vettel too?

Ferrari needs Alonso, and Alonso needs a competitive car in F1. Both parties should honestly have swallowed their pride and joined forces once more, but each is maybe as arrogant and proud as the other.

I think they should have kept a Vettel/Alonso pairing for 2019, then promote Leclerc for 2020 or 2021 in place of whoever quits/retires of the two. And this isn’t just purely out of a reaction from Vettel’s mistake today, I’ve been thinking along these lines for months now.
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  • 34 comments on “Ocon “not happy with my weekend” after ninth place”

    1. re:COTD – Not the worst idea to have Alonso rejoin Ferrari, maybe not the best either.

      First you would need the most massive pride swallowing ever to make this happen. Seems unlikely on both sides, particularly Ferrari. However, at this point in his career Alonso may be so appreciative to have a more competitive car finally that he just *might* behave. (*might* being the most operative word here.)

      Alonso is a better number one driver than Vettel, if you desire having a number one driver. Vettel seems to be making more rookie mistakes and bad judgement decisions than he did in his more formative years. His temperament and impatience is causing him to throw too many points and opportunities away. If Alonso had a better car under him he could probably have scored more points this season. I know, totally subjective, but worth pondering whether he could have done more with the Ferrari this season than Vettel has.

      Ferrari must be thinking about their own team mistakes as well as evaluating driver mistakes when looking at the 2018 season. Can they do better? Alonso and LeClerc for 2019 does not seem like a horrible idea.

      Skeptics might say Alonso and Ferrari could resolve their differences. The same was said about Alonso and McLaren.

      1. Given the mistakes have been 50/50 between Vettel and team, dropping him would be harsh. Just let Leclerc assume the number 1 role. No need for Alonso.

        1. Leclerc still has to prove a lot. He’s still making quite a few mistakes* and has an easy teammate he needs to beat.

          * However, making mistakes doesn’t stop you to become a Ferrari #1 ;-)

        2. On the other hand if Ferrari for some reason come to the conclusion that they need a fresh start they should do it. However not with Alonso (which for starters wouldn’t be a fresh start), specially with Leclerc there, they don’t need a driver that will come in thinking that he owns the place and requires the focus to be on him. Plus if the car isn’t up to it the result would be the same. So if they do it they should think into the future, maybe out of the box even. Try to take Verstappen or Hamilton from their competitors. Or in the spirit of out the box thinking, why not Hulk?

          1. Good points and driver suggestions, @johnmilk

          2. I think Hamilton would say yes in a heartbeat. He’s told us that it’s every drivers drawn to drive a red car, and how special would it be if he could end the title drought (rather than Vettel or Alonso).

            1. @coldfly Hamilton is also the only champion on the grid to have won a championship with more than one team, circumstances aside, that could be an argument in his favour

      2. Not sure if it is a good decision now to have him rejoin.
        But I’m convinced that Alonso could have picked up at least one more WDC title had he been in the team these last 2 years.

        1. Oh god no!, I have been a huge Ferrari fan for decades and the last thing I want to see is Vettel dropped to bring in ‘The destroyer of teams’!

    2. Skeptics might say Alonso and FerrariCANNOT resolve their differences. The same was said about Alonso and McLaren.

    3. I don’t think it’s fanciful to think Alonso would be closer to Lewis if he were in the red car. Vettel has just dropped it way to many times. Sure, Ferrari have had their fair share of gaffes as well.

      Having said this, Alonso should just leave F1 and not return. He isn’t going to get a top drive due to his perceived toxicity. Alonso should have employed a better PR person rather than Flav I suppose.

      Honestly, hiring Alonso will be a step backwards for the team, a band aid short term solution. They should look to the future and bringing Leclerc in is the right decision albeit a risky one. I will not be surprised if Leclerc starts beating Vettel next year, when that happens, 50 million (ball park?) will start to look very expensive, if it already hasnt.

      1. I am sure that Alonso would have had less painfull gaffes on track where he threw away his chances like we have seen from Vettel both this year and last year as you mention @jaymenon10.

        But I also agree that now going to Alonso won’t do much to help them – he’d step back into that same environment he left when he did, many of the rubbing points would be the same.

        I would hope that Leclerc gets a season of relative calm before having to step forward, then again, if he had a season like Hamilton had his first year at McLaren, or even a year like Daniel Ricciardo had when he stepped up to Red Bull I am sure few people will not like seeing it.

        But what Ferrari really needs is not the driver – I think that with a more positive vibe in the team Vettel would not be making these mistakes. That is why I agree that taking on Alonso wouldn’t solve their issues now. It is much as he mentioned – they are close but never get together that winning streak because of the toxic feelings the pressure, stress and expectation as well as their feelings of deserving to win and looking for blame immediately when it doesn’t get them the results (see Arrivebene and his outbursts again this weekend).

    4. Counting from 2010 onwards, the winner of Japanese Grand Prix is now the WDC winner 8 out of 9 times (2011 is the exception). Japanese grand prix had a golden run of predicting WDCs from 1995 to 2004 as well (8 out of 10 times, the exceptions were 1997 and 2003).

      1. @Sumedh That’s nothing compared to the coincidental stat that no driver has won both the Hungarian GP and the WDC the same season since 2005.

        1. @jerejj That’s nothing compared to the coincidental stat that no driver has won both the Dutch GP and the WDC the same season since 1979.

          1. @coldfly – I like stats so this made me go and check! Zandvoort stopped being used for F1 after 1985 so that’s a run of “only” six years… I wondered if it was a trick comment as I thought Zandvoort was off the calendar earlier than that (1979 would have been funnier).

            1. @tribaltalker, it was actually a try-to-be-funny comment picking a famous race that’s been off the calendar for many years (hence Zandvoort), and wanted to say ‘since 1986 ;)’.
              But in trying to be factually correct I added the 6 years in which the local winner did not win the WDC that year, and I might have lost the punchline :(

          2. @coldfly – thanks for the reply! I found your original comment funny and enjoyed it. Don’t feel that I was being critical. I really like the freedom to be amusing we enjoy on this blog, which sits almost alone in a sea of poisoned news sites where every comment is an attack.

    5. This whole teams having meetings to decide things and having it relayed to FOM by Horner/Arrivabene should be very concerning. It wreaks of political rubbish. He said this, they said that. Who know’s who’s hiding what cards and playing what hands.

      None of this sounds like the “promised lands” of fair, decisive, politics-free regulations and a competition-driven sport. It’s Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes marketing playground currently, make no mistake.

      People are referring to F1 as a show now more than Ecclestone ever did.

      1. reeks* knows* edit button please?

    6. Mercedes was not represented because Toto Wolff had a prior commitment at his team’s race strategy briefing.

      That has to be a short briefing: If Bottas is ahead then let Hamilton past; if Hamilton is ahead then Bottas should hold up the competition.

    7. Regarding COTD I think Ferrari may come to regret not signing Ricciardo when he was available rather than going back to Alonso. I cannot understand why they didn’t grab the opportunity with both hands.

      Daniel is a quick driver and great at overtaking. He would have pushed Seb and possibly proved to be one who claimed the WDC first. At the very least he would have given the team a better chance in the Constructors championship.

      OK Seb may not have been thrilled but Daniel would have been a better choice than Fernando.

      1. Well, that’s easy. Almost all are better than Vettel, except Kimi. Leclerc will take a serious shot at the WDC next year

    8. Alonso at Ferrari would have been superb in my opinion but it could just never have happened unfortunately.

      It is this team meeting that I want to find out about and the one called by Chase Carey just after it.
      Trouble is, when you hunt around on the internet for stuff like this, you get more lies and conspiracy type stuff than actual info.

      1. Chase: “Alright people, I’ve called you here to point out the obvious – Mercedes and Hamilton are running away with it again this year, and we need your help in putting Ferrari up there instead, people are losing interest in F1”

        (Arrivabene avoids eye contact and looks at the floor)
        (Horner mumbles “Why not Max?”)
        (Steiner starts defending his drivers until Abiteboul tells him no one’s blaming them)
        (Tost shouts “Honda Power!”, to general laughter)

        1. (Kimi eats an ice-cream in the background)

        2. @phylyp(Sir Frank Williams slowly wheels around the room reminding the others that this is meant to be the pinnacle of competitive racing. Nobody looks him in the face. Several people start to talk, then think better of it. There is an embarrassed silence)

    9. I disagree with the COTD. I think the Vettel-Leclerc pairing is good for Ferrari in the longer-term.

      1. But an Alonso Leclerc line-up is even better..

        1. @jere it depends if you want world titles or cuddly pictures for the press.

          Ferrari need to really think about this. Their driver has had one of the worst 2nd part of a season i have seen in a long time of a driver fighting for a title.

          Alonso wouldn’t of made these mistakes. Ferrari and Alonso didn’t end on that bad terms. Williams took back Mansell twice so it is possible.

          Like i say it all depends what they want. Titles or something else. Titles then hire Alonso and get on with it.

    10. (I posted this in an older thread – apologies for dual posting.)

      My crazy ideas for “improving the show”:

      Two pit lanes with half the garages on each. Significantly reduces the time for a stop and encourages variation in tyre strategy. Downside – major changes to tracks. Worth doing for new tracks, of which there are a few in planning.

      Change the pit lane top speed to make a pit stop take much longer, which will also change the balance of strategies.

      Introduce a mandatory “joker” lap where a driver must take a different route, maybe longer or shorter. Only possible at tracks with a decent amount of infield, won’t be easy to do at street circuits. Alonso already does this.

      Clean specified corners between sessions so that a single racing line cannot set in, removing the penalty for going offline in order to overtake or square the corner for better traction out onto a straight when following a slower car.

      Remotely disable the ERS or turn down the engine for a car ignoring blue flags.

      Bring back active aerodynamics and reduce the aero elements which create turbulence and “dirty air” behind the car.

      Free-to-air broadcasting, free simulcast streaming of at least the main TV feed.

      Get all the team principals and the Liberty board to watch people playing e-sports and driving games. That might put the fear of [deity of your choice] in them and elicit some real action.

      Use technology (which exists and has been used successfully in other series) to place an identifier above each car on screen so that non-experts (aka new viewers) can follow who is who. It’s not rocket science. By the way, we can do rocket science pretty well too.

      Rockets! No…

    11. @keithcollantine your tweet (bte any reason why we are seeing more of yours? I can lend you some material) is spot on, albeit a bit late, we have seen that behaviour for quite a long time. Ocon at Monaco for example comes to mind

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