Gasly-Ocon rivalry is “not good for either of us”

2018 Mexican Grand Prix

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Pierre Gasly says his run-in with Esteban Ocon in the Mexican Grand Prix was an example of how the rivalry between the pair can be unhealthy for both of them.

The pair have raced against each other since they were in go-karts but according to Gasly the pair fell out once he began to establish an upper hand over Ocon.

Gasly accused Ocon of deliberately running him off the track in Mexico. Asked by RaceFans whether their rivalry was escalating, Gasly said “at the moment it’s not good for either of us”.

“Today we lost 2.5 seconds which caused me also a flat-spot,” said Gasly, who finished the race 10th in front of Ocon. “In the end maybe he could have finished P10, I could have finished P9.

“You need to be objective,” he said. “I try to focus on my race and try to make it clean but I think this was slightly over the limit. In the end I finished in front of him so that’s OK.”

The stewards cleared Ocon, ruling Gasly went off at turn four because he braked too late. However Gasly maintained he was forced out and chose to back out of forcing his way past at the next corner.

“I think he wasn’t super-happy by the fact that starting last I think I recovered and managed to overtake him. He pushed me wide and I had to go off-track.

“I could have forced the way in turn five and we could have had contact but I thought it wasn’t worth it and I would have another go after that.”

Gasly believes Ocon should have left him space. “For me it wasn’t fair. Either you say you need to leave the space for [one] car or you say things are allowed and you can race aggressively, which I don’t mind.

“You can compare this situation with many others this year which happened with other drivers, also in my case in Silverstone for example. It just seems to be quite weird and quite a grey area with the fact that usually you should leave the space of one car and clearly there wasn’t the space there.”

“Maybe I will speak with Charlie [Whiting, FIA race director] just to know because if this is allowed then next time I know what I can do.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 22 comments on “Gasly-Ocon rivalry is “not good for either of us””

    1. Gasly seems a typical RBR cadre driver…

      1. Not sure why you are saying that.
        Gasly just analyzed the race event and his own decisions and decided that there is something to learn from it. I think that is pretty mature.

        1. @rj01 Not sure where you see that. He’s more eloquent than Verstappen, but in the end it’s the same “I didn’t do anything wrong, it was all him, and the decision went against me, so there is something wrong with the rules. Next time I’ll just some-silly-thing-that-would-go-even-worse”.

          1. Maybe you are right. Anyway, Gasly seems like a smart guy to me who knows what he wants. Looking forward to see him race with RBR next year.

        2. While at the same time putting shade on Ocon, which I think is what @Chaitanya is latching on to; it sure was for me @rj01, he is saying several times that he’s faster, finished ahead (despite starting lower); he potentially finishing 9th with Ocon 10th – let’s not forget Ocon was ahead at the time, and he was only not further up bc. he got hit earlier on the 1st lap, and Ocon was cleared of overall blame in the incident. And then Gasly goes on to say he will be more aggressive next time (which I sure hope he then does get penalised for).

          I don’t want to be too harsh on what a racing driver says after the race, but this isn’t making me appreciate him much.

          1. Well, well, looks like what Ocon hinted about a longer time back about them not being friends anymore (after the one introducing the other to karting) and the rivalry that is at the base of that.

            It does seem that Gasly is quite ambitious and talking the talk @bosyber, @losd, @rj01. I guess there might be some truth in the fact that it would fit what Helmut wants to see from “his” drivers. Personally I am enjoying it, already I can see some more interesing things being said in interviews in the next few years when both Gasly and Max will no doubt think they are the faster in the RB car, and won’t hesitate to say so on radio or when asked for comments :-)

            As for this incident – I do think Ocon might want to think about his recent starts and unfortunate moments that ended with collusions. I do suspect that a hint of rivalry might be a part of those (mind you, they could just as well be from Perez side and from Gasly), or maybe he just needs to focus on slightly different things in that phase of the race? Then again, no risk, no gain.

            1. With the (granted, limited angle of) views of the incident I saw, it seemed pretty clear to me that this was Gasly’s mistake, not over-aggressiveness from Ocon. This is the first worrying comment I’ve heard from Gasly, @bosyber, @losd, @rj01, @bascb. Alarm bells are ringing. I had the impression he was a cool and level-headed individual but maybe there will be fireworks to be enjoyed next season!

    2. Ocon strikes me as having a poor personality behind the wheel. If there’s an actual acknowledged feud between them, then it’s clear that Ocon is unable to leave his on-track clashes (whether they’re his fault or not) there and carries them with him, which is deeply unhealthy. Yet another reminder of how drivers joining F1 before they’ve had the chance to mature is something that should’ve been stopped ages ago.

    3. Again, it was your error that you went too deep into the corner, and thus, wide despite having plenty of room given by Ocon.

    4. Yeah, he’s quickly turning into one of those drivers whom I’d respect more if only they kept their mouths shut.

      1. You like the traditional PR puppy?

        1. No. I dislike people who talk rubbish because they want to be a good vessel for their teams’ or sponsors’ PR just as much as I dislike people who talk rubbish because they want to cultivate an ‘edgy’ image and make up for their lack of importance on the track with words. Both groups are nothing but hot air. All they have to offer is predictable noise, i.e. the exact opposite of potentially interesting information.

          And above all, I dislike people can only deal in false dichotomies. “Oh, you disagree with X, so you must agree with Y? Shame on you!”. Yeah, no. Please annoy somebody else.

    5. It looked like a racing incident to me, which Gasly portrayed to the media as a captivating story of two friends turning in to bitter rivals because Gasly ‘started beating him’.

      I think Gasly is a decent enough driver but his talent to run his mouth is something else. He definitely has the potential to be the biggest ball talker in F1’s history.

      Will be interesting to see him run his mouth once Verstappen smashes him to tiny little pieces.

      1. By the looks of it Max has him covered but at the very least, the War of the Words should be epic between those two. Still, I see full contact, Red Bull on Red Bull action in the near future (until Marko steps in). Both of them tend to get a bit desperate at times…

        1. Looking at the way Verstappen has convincingly beaten Ricciardo recently, I doubt Gasly will even come close to Max for any ‘action’. Gasly will rant though… I can see it coming.

          1. So, you’re blaming Max. Interesting. Do you have any inside knowledge or is just an educated guess?
            Pierre may be closer than Daniel. He may employ security guards who won’t fall for the old “Look over there – Christian is doing a handstand!” trick.

    6. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
      7th November 2018, 16:07

      Can’t wait for the fireworks at RB next year, they passed over Sainz because of his relationship with Max but this kid is almost as hot headed as the chosen one himself! It’s gonna be entertaining thats for sure.

    7. Ocon needs to stop crashing, well at least is not his team mate, no wonder why has no seat it seems not a very good team player

      1. He really does. In Austin he crashed into Leclerc as well … and check the Singapore one correctly. He literally didn’t give Perez any space ! This guy has to cool down. I don’t know if he is talent because he hasn’t shown much in over 2.5 years but he urgently needs to cool down. By the way, the crash with Hulkenberg on lap one was also his fault. What was he expecting Hulkenberg to do ?

    8. I seem to recall Gasly accusing Magnussen of deliberately running him into the wall, as well.

    9. F1 drivers are sooo boring. Goodness me.

    10. I’ll just wait until one of them retires.

    Comments are closed.