Esteban Ocon, Renault, Imola, 2020

Renault apologises to Ocon after fourth technical failure

2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul apologised to Esteban Ocon after his driver retired from a race for the fourth time this year due to a technical problem.

A gearbox problem put Ocon out of yesterday’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, the 13th race of the season. He has seen the chequered flag in all of the other nine races, but this was his third retirement in his last five starts.

“It was a tough weekend overall with a succession of bad luck,” said Ocon. “We had a few issues this afternoon. We had a [visor] tear-off in the brake duct, which meant that we pitted early to take it off and then we had a gearbox problem.”

While Daniel Ricciardo’s podium finish gave Renault plenty to celebrate, Abiteboul apologised to Ocon following his latest retirement.

“I’d like to start by apologising to Esteban as it was another retirement due to a technical issue,” said Abiteboul. “He was not far off [in qualifying] and had a decent start to be in the mix despite the early stop to remove the tear-off from his ducts.

“He then suffered from an issue that caused some trouble with his gearbox and he had to retire. It’s a shame as Daniel has shown that when the car is working there is pace and competitiveness.”

With four races remaining, Ricciardo has 95 points to Ocon’s 40.

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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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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9 comments on “Renault apologises to Ocon after fourth technical failure”

  1. Nice gesture on Abitebouls part, Ocon does seem to be closing the gap, I hope he can hold his own next year.

    1. Toto has handsomely made up for it.

  2. Despite Ocon’s bad luck with a car that’s failed him i feel as though all the hype has been somewhat superficial. Yes, he does at times have speed but he is too mercurial and i get the sense that he feels as though he’s better than his actual results show. He’s had ample time, at this level, to acclimatise and meld into the team and the car. His performances are just not good enough but then again Ricciardo is in a different league and to compare the two is most difficult. IMO the jury is out on Ocon and next year he’ll have Alonso to contend with and that won’t be easy either. Hopefully Alonso will be up to speed quickly and i am looking forward to seeing back on track doing what he’s good at….racing, ‘cojones’ out and all.

  3. With the way Verstappen, Gasly, Leclerc and Russell are performing this year, it doesnt look good for Ocon to become an F1 star like some hyped him. He is 12-1 down in qualifying to Ricciardo, and similarly in races (even taking into account retirements), and not closing the gap (7 positions behind in Imola). Ocon and Albon are the biggest dissapointments of the season so far.

    1. I think Ferrari might think Vettel is a bigger disappointment!!

      1. Hahaha, so true. Probably Racing Points behind closed doors thoughts too

  4. I am not sure that I quite get this tendency for “the team” to apologize to the driver.

    To me, the driver is part of the team, not someone that the team provides a service to. It is not “the team” failing the driver – it is the team failing.

    But with the increase of billionaire “gentleman drivers” maybe that is slowly changing?

    1. Me neither, but I guess it’s then expected that the drivers are supposed to apologize to the team for their mistakes.

      But poor Ocon. Mercedes driver and world is your oyster, and now he’s a floor mop for Ricciardo and likely Alonso next year, and that was it.

  5. Every year there are lemon cars that mess up drivers’ races. That’s not just frustrating for the drivers and teams but for fans of these drivers.

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