Esteban Ocon, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Ocon hopes new power unit cures top speed deficit to Ricciardo

2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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Renault will replace Esteban Ocon’s power unit for next week’s race, which he hopes will cure his car’s lack of straight-line speed compared to his team mate’s.

Ocon said he has been losing time on the straights to Daniel Ricciardo in the last two races.

“The main loss is in the straight-line,” he said on Saturday at Circuit de Catalunya. “This is what we see at the moment since Silverstone [race] two. There is a bit of a lap time that I’m losing in the straight between the two cars.

“That is the main loss that we are seeing. Obviously Daniel is [already] on his second engine so we don’t know if that comes from that. But at the moment we are seeing a loss of straight-line speed on my car.”

The team intends to fit a new power unit to Ocon’s car ahead of next week’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, one of F1’s most demanding venues for engine performance.

“I feel like it’s going to be a fresh start,” said Ocon after Sunday’s race in Spain. “We have a week to analyse and recover all together.

“It’s going to be a new gearbox for me, a new engine, a lot of new parts as well, because we are obviously not happy with the performance difference between the cars. But hopefully that will make it closer and hopefully it’s going to be a fresh start for my side of the garage.”

However Ocon indicated the lack of straight-line speed is not the only reason for his deficit to Ricciardo in recent races.

“We are obviously changing the engine for the straight-line speed that I was lacking,” he said. “But there’s also other areas where I feel and we feel that we are not competitive enough compared to the other side of the garage.”

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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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18 comments on “Ocon hopes new power unit cures top speed deficit to Ricciardo”

  1. good excuses…

    1. That’s what I thought, also of note Sainz had cooling issues with his power unit from Renault.

      This makes me believe my team Renault have got some serious engine reliability issues, this year is going to be a long one for Renault fans

      1. “Renault fans” is that an actual thing? *shudders at mere thought*

        1. Yeah Renault fans are a thing

          1. Both of them.

      2. It is going to be 7th race, so engine change is normal after 6 GP. Many teams already change power units, and this year Renault is probably the most reliable engine according to change units/parts chart. So …. you can try to find more info before you share opinion.

      3. team Renault have got some serious engine reliability issues, this year

        thats nothing new.

  2. Was curious so I took a quick look at the speed trap figures for qualifying throughout this season for Ricciardo and Ocon. In most of them Ric is ahead by around 2kph in the official speed trap. That could be engine performance, but could also be explained by Ric getting a better exit from the corners.

    Looked at some of the speeds logged at other parts of the track, end of intermediates 1/2 and start finish line, which are lower speeds, and the difference between them is the same or sometimes greater, suggesting maybe exit speed is more of a factor than engine performance. So having seen that, I have my doubts there was any issue with Ocon’s power unit. Let’s see if he makes any notable performance jump in spa though.

    1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      21st August 2020, 16:04

      @keithedin good investigative work!! Tbh, I’ve been very surprised by how slow Ocon has been in comparison to Ric. Could be the lack of seat time without a F1 seat?

    2. @keithedin My first thought was that Ocon would need better brakes to even the pace to Ricciardo, not an engine.

  3. While I don’t have the GPS readings to counter Ocon’s claim, but I’m equally sure he will find another set of excuses when he will be beaten again by Ricciardo after he gets his PU issue sorted.

    It’s going to be a new gearbox for me, a new engine, a lot of new parts as well, because we are obviously not happy with the performance difference between the cars. But hopefully that will make it closer and hopefully it’s going to be a fresh start for my side of the garage

    Oh wait ! He already find a valid excuse as he is implying that his deficit to Dan is rather down to the quality of his engineers. Can’t wait for 2021 when he will be eventually “Vandoorned” by Alonso.

    1. “Can’t wait for 2021 when he will be eventually “Vandoorned” by Alonso.”

      Damn… i was not looking forward to alonso coming back before but this… this convinced me as i def want to see that. thank you!

  4. I can understand his reasoning as when Sainz got a new engine last race (because of ‘cooling issues’) and was faster than Norris by half a tenth, he was hailed for a great performance in the press.

  5. because we are obviously not happy with the performance difference between the cars.

    The difference is only four letters..
    O C O N
    Damn.. the difference is even bigger.. five letters.. Ricciardo-Ocon=5 letters..

  6. Ok guy. If you pay attention to the road in front of you instead of binning off to avoid Magnussen, that should help your straight line speed even more!

  7. Grasping at straws Ocon, grasping at straws, you are getting smoked by the honeybadger.

  8. RIC gains several Kmph from the power of sheer positivity and Aussie grit

    1. I think the “Grit” comes from drinking out of the shoe.
      “Vandoorned” by Alonso. … LOL. Great. M Webster would be having fits.
      When Alonso does show up, will Ocon think he has his pick of engineering / support.?
      Guess that may be the first excuse of 2021.
      Yep, bring it on. Looking forward to it.

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