Esteban Ocon, Force India, Circuit of the Americas, 2018

Ocon’s Austin disqualification linked to Mercedes software update

2018 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Esteban Ocon’s disqualification from the United States Grand Prix came about because of a problem related to new software from engine supplier Mercedes, the team has revealed.

The Force India driver was stripped of eighth place in the race after he was found to have exceeded the maximum fuel flow limit during the first lap.

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer admitted they hadn’t realised the full implications of a software update on his Mercedes power unit.

“We breached, momentarily, the fuel flow limit,” said Szafnauer. “Which is a breach. Mercedes added some new code that we weren’t quite aware of that allowed the breach.”

Ocon’s disqualification was one of a series of setbacks for the team in recent races which has hurt their chances of beating McLaren to sixth place in the constructors championship.

“I don’t know how many points we lost there but again because we we’re thrown out the McLaren gained some points,” said Szafnauer. McLaren did not score any points in the race, but Force India lost the four points they would have scored.

Force India failed to score in Mexico as well after Ocon was involved in a first-lap collision and Sergio Perez retired when his brake pedal went long.

“It’s just unfortunate when you have a first lap incident that knocks your nose off and then we had a brake failure. So we got zero points which also allowed of the McLarens to get a significant amount of points because we weren’t there.

“But that’s racing. You know take the good with the bad and. The performance of the car is there it’s just that we’ve had a bit of bad luck.”

McLaren are 15 points ahead of Force India with two races left to go. Szafnauer said Force India’s chance of beating them is “Still possible but not as probable. Just because we’re running out of races.”

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Author information

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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Posted on Categories 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix, 2018 F1 season, F1 newsTags , ,

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  • 5 comments on “Ocon’s Austin disqualification linked to Mercedes software update”

    1. Buggar!! This guy needs a 2019 drive more than so many, its F1 so never fair but Ocon not racing doesn’t make sense to me.

    2. Maybe they failed to install the flexible fuel hose and the sensor wasn’t tricked, so it indicated the real flow rate?

          1. What does ‘this’ mean… OK, I know what it means, or used to mean… but I don’t understand how it has become a verb…

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