Max Verstappen, Esteban Ocon, Interlagos, 2018

Ocon had “nothing to gain” in Verstappen clash – Steiner

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In the round-up: Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says Esteban Ocon’s attempt to un-lap himself from Max Verstappen was wrong.

What they say

Steiner said Ocon wasn’t realistically going to benefit by un-lapping himself:

I think there was no need to do that. I think Esteban had nothing to gain. If he had something to gain, I don’t know how far the people were behind him which were fighting with him but he was out of the points, I think he was pretty far back. There was nothing to be gained, that is my thing.

Then again maybe he’s got a different view, maybe he wanted to gain something and put a fight onto Verstappen but there was no need for that.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

It’s not just Red Bull who are impressed by Honda’s gains:

What was most impressive is that I think they made the third sector as fast as the Mercedes customers, (even marginally better then Force India). Only behind the Ferrari-powered teams, and way ahead of Renault and McLaren. That is a engine performance sector.

In qualifying they have a much better engine by now then Renault, and in race trim they probably are ahead if they can run the engine without issues.
Manuel Falcao (@Mfalcao)

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48 comments on “Ocon had “nothing to gain” in Verstappen clash – Steiner”

  1. Loved the closing comments on Ch4s highlights just now…
    2001 Brazilian GP: Montoya taken out of the lead by a backmarker.
    That backmarker? Yes, you remember it well… Jos Verstappen. Lol

    1. Also, I quite enjoyed the (not quite) fisticuffs after the race. Don’t agree that Max should have shoved Ocon, but I enjoyed the passion and slightly baffled looks from others.

      My missus was pretty shocked, so I had to dig out the old Piquet vs Salazar clip for old times!

      Its all good for “the show”!

      1. I found it pretty harmless. It doesn’t protray Verstappen jr. in a particularly positive light, but if you compare that to an average football match, pffff.

        1. It could be different next year with the driver weight limits kicking in. However, this year, watching two 60-kg drivers in a shoving match is much too reminiscent of a school playground. :-)

          1. watching two 60-kg drivers in a shoving match is much too reminiscent of a school playground. :-)

            Now I understand why teams keep reminding drivers from which direction the wind come ;)

      2. I think Verstappen made the right choice to pick a fight, purely from a psychological standpoint: ‘Max is someone you don’t mess with’ is the message, and anyone doubting that before the Brazilian race is now sure of that.

        He truly is one of the greats.

        1. @paeschli, there were many great drivers in the past who didn’t think it was necessary to behave like that – indeed, they were known for their modesty and humility rather than for their arrogance. If you think that is what makes a driver great, then so be it, but it is a definition that many would think is rather strange.

        2. @paeschli The opposite. All the shoving incident achieved was confirm that Verstappen can be rattled and you can provoke a reaction, drivers are more likely to try to use that against him than to care about being shoved a little bit. Nobody will be intimated by a bit of playground pushing. His punishment seems reasonable for a first offense but you can be sure if he repeats it (or worse) he will get a more severe punishment, which could give him a sporting penalty like a grid drop.

          I agree that Verstappen is an immense talent and could still become the driver of his generation, but he needs to calm himself down both on track and off if he wants to reach his potential.

        3. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
          12th November 2018, 10:43

          Also makes him look like a child with anger management issues. I kind of understand why he did it, and plenty of other drivers might just’ve done the same, but it wasn’t smart. not smart at all

  2. Max could have past Bottas in WDC standings but another Mercedes driver prevented this.
    Toto will be proud of Ocon….

  3. ANON,I responded to your post in yesterday’s roundup, if you are interested.

    1. Maybe better not to reply personally to people who don’t make an effort registering. @hohum.

      1. @coldfly, I agree but I have a great deal of respect for this ANON, I suspect he/she does not register because he/she is worried about being exposed and has good reasons not to go public, pity, because I like to learn from those with knowledge to share.

  4. blah blah blah…they can say what ever they way ocon tries that garbage against hamilton or bottas..and i can’t stand max

  5. Congrats to Jensen Button on his Super GT title in his rookie year.
    And team mate Naoki Yamamoto bagged the Japanese F3 / Super GT double, which is no mean feat!

  6. Today’s CotD may have been impressed by Toro Rosso’s sector times, but he seems to have a rather tenuous relationships with clear, unambiguous facts. But this is F1, you’ll hardly find a place where there are so many unambiguous facts, published black on white right after they’ve been recorded.
    So, in fact, Toro Rosso didn’t make

    the third sector as fast as the Mercedes customers, (even marginally better then Force India).

    Gasly and Hartley were 14th and 15th in the third sector, beating Williams, McLaren and Sainz’ Renault. Force India were 10th and 13th, so nope, still better. Not by a huge margin, but seeing as that sector was only about 16 seconds long, and that the gaps were minimal (less than a tenth between Ricciardo in 7th and Gasly in 14th place), huge margins were not to be expected.

    As for

    Only behind the Ferrari-powered teams, and way ahead of Renault and McLaren

    , this is obviously not true, with the exception of McLaren. Both Ferraris and Mercedes were (unsurprisingly) faster in that sector, as were Red Bull, Sauber and Haas (the Ferrari-powered customer teams), Force India, and Nico Hülkenberg’s Renault. That’s 4/6 Mercedes-powered cars, 6/6 Ferrari-powered cars and 3/6 Renault-powered cars.

    That (sector 3) is a engine performance sector.

    Yes and no. It’s a sector that consists of a slow-ish corner and a very long quasi-straight, that much is true. But engine performance isn’t everything, as the comparison between Sergey Sirotkin’s Mercedes-powered Williams (16.113) and Fernando Alonso’s Renault-powered Mclaren (16.130) shows. Similarly, the difference between the fastest Ferrari and the fastest Haas (+0.340), the fastest Mercedes and the fastest Williams (+0.483), or the fastest Red Bull and the fastest McLaren (+0.219) tells a very different story: The differences between cars outweigh the differences between engines by an order of magnitude.

    For a discussion why this statement:

    In qualifying they have a much better engine by now then Renault

    is equally untenable, read anon’s detailed reply or my own lengthy essay if you like it wordy.

    But yeah, if anyone ever needed a proof for the fact that a CotD doesn’t equal the best, or most insightful, or even remotely factually accurate comment of a given day, here it is.

    1. you should consider applying for working on the site, I guess

      1. Sure. If that means I can do Dieter’s job without actually doing Dieter’s job, count me in.
        My strengths include:
        – Popping up in various locations around the globe and speaking at least one of the local languages well enough to order a beer in English.
        – Snatching food from the teams’ catering (ask Mercedes AMG, to whose operational deficit I significantly contributed on two occasions this year)
        – Performing the grid walk like I belong there
        – Asking important people silly questions (again, plenty of references should you need them)

        – Getting up early in the morning on a weekend
        – Asking important people questions that make sense
        – Writing articles to a deadline
        – Writing articles

  7. Max Chilton’s tweet about what Hamilton would have done perfectly sums up why Hamilton’s been racking up the points this year, while Vettel’s been leaving them on the table.

    As much as I say Ocon was the wrongdoer in that incident, Max needs to internalize that aspect of Hamilton.

    It’s sort of like driving on the road – there’s no point in getting a moral victory by having the right of way but getting into an accident, better to have yielded and stayed accident-free.

    1. Brings to mind an old saying from when I was learning how to sail and being taught who has the right of way when ships cross paths.

      Here lies the body of William Bray
      Who knew he had the right of way
      He held to it fast
      He held to it strong
      But he’s just as dead as if he were wrong

  8. Didn’t Force India get additional security in this race ;)
    Still couldn’t stop an assault on their driver.

    1. They were protecting Stroll and Perez, they know who issues the paychecks. ;-)

      1. I chuckled at that :D

      2. … and the points for the championship …

  9. I refer to Max comments after Singapore 2017. “If you’re fighting for the world championship, you shouldn’t take those risks to squeeze someone that much.”

    Max didn’t have a WDC in the line, but he was going for a win, which is all he can get this year. And Ocon shouldn’t have put his car there at all, I feel that even if it was a battle for a position, he’d not have made it unscratched. But somehow I feel Max could’ve left a bit more room and let the guy go. He already saw him going coming quite fast under braking and going to the outside at turn 1.

    It’s still no excuse for Ocon, mind. It was a very stupid move. I don’t think Hamilton would’ve acted differently to what Max did either. When these competitive beasts are fighting for a win they want the whole world to move aside.

    1. I refer to Max comments after Singapore 2017. “If you’re fighting for the world championship, you shouldn’t take those risks to squeeze someone that much.”

      @fer-no65 – nicely done :-) Max, meet petard.

  10. Mark in Florida
    12th November 2018, 3:10

    Ocon had better be glad that this wasn’t Indy car in the 80s . If he had hit AJ Foyt he would be needing a dental surgeon . At least Max manned up and took action for what he believed in. Most drivers now are so vanilla it’s a snooze fest of sameness. And in case you’re wondering I’m not a fan of Max. I just think that Ocon was being stupid, do stupid things and get stupid prizes.

  11. Red Bull had good chassis, great drivers and solid strategies. I hope they could still win one or two races next year with Honda.

  12. Seeing this lack of judgement from Ocon, a driver who mostly drives error-free rwaces, was pretty surprising for me. I completely understand Verstappen’s reaction afterwards, and I think reprimands like these do contribute to drivers becoming more sterile in public, or hiding their true selves to give the image of a clean, perfect person. I want the characters like Piquet and Hunt back in F1!

    1. +1. While I would not really condone the pushing and shoving, it’s great publicity for F1.

    2. @major-dev Indeed. I couldn’t agree more with you.

  13. Ocon didn’t necessarily have nothing to gain, he had the chance in one of his last two races to show he could overtake Max Verstappen, and I’ve no doubt he’d make the same attempt on Lewis Hamilton, Sebastien Vettel or Fernando Alonso if there had been the chance to demonstrate his value regardless of it being available actual racing position up for grabs.

    He blew it unfortunately, and given the lack of keeping it clean even with his own team mate the last couple of years he’s got a lot of work to prove he deserves a top team seat.

  14. Mercedes gets more support from the drivers in the other cars (Sirotkin retracting his initial critical comments, and Ocon teasing the competition into a costly fight) than from their own wingman :P

    1. @coldfly – I don’t know what you’re on about, Vettel did a darn fine job helping Hamilton through the year.

      Oh, wait…

      1. As always you’re way ahead of everybody. phylyp
        Vettel is clearly preparing his application and wants to include real actions showing his fit with the silver team ;)

        1. @phylyp
          PS when will I get that edit button?

        2. @coldfly – Pipped to the post by Ocon, though :)


  15. On the Ocon/Verstappen incident I think with hindsight there is a case for saying that Max should have left him more room. However bearing in mind that Ocon had been lapped I doubt Max was expecting Ocon in a lapped car to take a dive down the inside to unlap himself at that point.

    The argument has been made that Ocon was on fresh tyres and was in the faster car at that point but I don’t think Max would have been thinking about that. Ocon’s decision represents a serious error of judgement that cost Max the race win and could have taken him out of the race altogether. Most importantly in an incident with a lapped car!

    There has been lots of speculation that Ocon might replace Bottas at Merc in 2020. I have said this before but I have seen NO evidence that Ocon is a significantly better or faster driver than Bottas. This incident I think just reinforces this.

    1. There has been lots of speculation that Ocon might replace Bottas at Merc in 2020.

      Ocon had an offer to drive for Toro Rosso next year, @phil-f1-21.
      But that option seems to have withdrawn. Not sure why though ;)

      1. I cannot think why :-).

        One from Williams as well it is said but only on a 2 year contract. Apparently he is destined for better things though!?!

    2. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      12th November 2018, 10:47

      I do think that Ocon’s move was too reckless regardless of the situation. He had a power advantage, wasn’t even fighting for a position, he should’ve waited for the 2nd straight. And he should’ve done the same he not been unlapping himself, but actually fighting for position

  16. Spot on Steiner, and, on the other hand, disagree with Chilton: Ocon had no business or right to put himself into a position where a crash would be rather inevitable to happen anyway since he was a full lap down after having just gotten lapped. He should’ve backed off earlier, and thus, create distance to Max at T1 at the very latest if not on the long run down to that corner already.
    I agree with the COTD.

    1. @jerejj He hadn’t just been lapped, Max never passed him & Ocon never received a blue flag as he was never ahead of Max.

      Ocon had been behind & catching Max for a few laps before the incident as Ocon had recently left the pits. He made the decision to un-lap himself because he was faster at that point & was actually been held up by Max for a lap or more before he tried to un-lap himself at the point he did when he got a great run out the final corners as well as a good tow/DRS which is why he was where he was into T1.

      Actually thinking about it given the run Ocon had I don’t quite get why Max bothered to move to the left to defend the inside line into T1. If he’d stayed on the racing line & just let Ocon go up the inside it would have been far better for both & neither would have lost any time.

      1. @stefmeister Yes, I realized that later. I initially thought Max lapped him somewhere around Juncao (the last proper corner of the circuit) mainly because the commentators of my provider thought that. He indeed never had passed him in the first place after all, but the lack of world feed coverage on Ocon on the laps after his ‘delayed’ pit stop combined with my point above led to my assuming that way. Nevertheless, I hold my point on the outcome itself.

  17. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
    12th November 2018, 11:38

    Nothing on Jensen Button winning the SuperGT title in his rookie year? Harsh! 😜

  18. Max should have left space to be safe but the thing is that Ocons charge was so crazy theres no way Max imagined it would come. It leaves an very sour taste since everyone (including Hamilton on his high horse) knows Ocon would never have done it to a Mercedes. Verstappens aftermath should have stayed in kindergarten however so i call this a draw in poor judgement.

  19. Ocon said he was faster than Ves, thus faster than everybody else. So he had a handfull of laps left to overtake everybody twice to win the race. So i have to agree with most people on this forum that actually it was Ocon who was stolen from the win.

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