Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2021

“Not an easy win” for Ocon despite first-corner shunt – Gasly

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In the round-up: Pierre Gasly says Esteban Ocon’s maiden win in the Hungarian Grand Prix didn’t come easily despite its fortuitous circumstances.

In brief

Gasly rues Hungary misfortune

Gasly, who qualified three places ahead of Ocon, was badly delayed by the first-corner collision which eliminated several of their rivals and promoted the Alpine driver to second place. After the race Gasly congratulated his former karting rival and praised his performance.

“I think that some got more lucky than others with what’s happened at the start,” said Gasly, “but they did after that very good race to keep the lead, doing all the race and working.”

Gasly scored his first F1 win at Monza last year thanks partly to a red flag which fell in his favour. “You need to be there when these opportunities happen,” he said. “It’s not an easy win even when this happens. They did the job so congratulations to them.”

After falling to 13th at the start as he avoided the turn one melee triggered by Valtteri Bottas, Gasly said he would have been better off qualifying lower down the order.

“I don’t know what to say except that Valtteri fucked up and took pretty much the first six cars out of the race,” he said. “Luckily we didn’t get damage from this compared to Max, Lando, or Sergio.

“But the target was to qualify ahead of the midfield to be in the best position possible for the race. That’s what we [did]. And in the end in this situation… I think we almost overperformed, qualified ahead of the Ferrari and McLaren and it would have been better to be in our position and slightly more to the back and benefit from this situation.

“You never know when these things will happen but it is just a shame from the first corner we were last on such a track it is extremely difficult to recover. I think we had a very good day to finish P6, we managed to get the fastest lap. But obviously, looking at the podium, it’s a bit disappointing because I just think that there was more to do if it would have been slightly more lucky at the start.”

Juncos pairs with Hollinger for full-time 2022 IndyCar programme

Juncos Hollinger Racing, an alliance between previous IndyCar entrant Ricardo Juncos and former Williams F1 board member Brad Hollinger, will participate in the final three races of the year in preparation for a full-time campaign in 2022. The Juncos team first raced in the series four years ago, but had to shelve its 2020 plans due to the pandemic.

The team is yet to confirm who will drive its Chevrolet-powered car in its first three races next month.

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An unusual and unwanted distinction for Dan Ticktum, from @Wsrgo:

Not since Mirko Bortolotti in 2010 has a driver been dropped from two separate junior programmes.

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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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17 comments on ““Not an easy win” for Ocon despite first-corner shunt – Gasly”

  1. Gasly is right to give Ocon due credit, and also in his pithy description of Bottas’ error. But as Jolyon Palmer pointed out, Gasly himself made basically the same error and lucked out in not crashing into Perez at turn 1 too

    1. But Gasly is a star performer!

    2. That was a good analysis! Didn’t know Gasly had such a near miss.

      So Perez was screwed either ways.

    3. @picasso-19d-ftw Admittedly, I didn’t notice Gasly nearly rear-ending Perez at the time. He indeed was lucky.

  2. Ocon drove amazingly for the win, regardless of luck. His excellent performance allowed him to grasp the victory, and as for luck affairs if we would identify the drivers that helped him the most to score the win, beyond Alonso and his breathtaking defense, it would be Bottas (for starting a bowling game that swept the field and opened the gates for him, taking out Norris, Perez and damaging Verstappen’s car), Stroll (who tried to be clever cutting through the grass only to add more to the carnage himself, taking out Leclerc and also damaging Ricciardo’s car), but let’s not forget of Latifi, who held so many drivers in 3rd place that paved a safer way for Ocon’s triumph. If it wasn’t for him, not only Hamilton could have caught Ocon and Vettel sooner, but Alonso himself would have challenged him for a podium, as he had a stronger race pace. So many things on last race could have gone different, that’s the way thrilling and memorable races stands out.

    1. Doug Webster
      4th August 2021, 2:36

      Great points. Nice.

    2. Ocon was undoubtedly benefitted by all things you mentioned. Of course, it wasn’t all over. He still had to defend from Seb.

      In hindsight, Vettel is one who underperformed the most. He had all of Ocon’s advantages and also a faster car. Yet, he somehow couldn’t make a move stick.

      1. I don’t know about that. Vettel and Ocon had tyres with similar age throughout the whole race and Vettel’s car wasn’t that much faster considering how difficult it was to overtake.

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          4th August 2021, 7:28

          @paulk I would assume that Vettell being able to run so close to Ocon for all 67 laps or whatever it was after the red flag was probably and indication of that he was quite a bit quicker.

          1. @randommallard, he was clearly faster but it’s unlikely he was that much faster. Many drivers were able to stay close but had trouble overtaking. Even Hamilton couldn’t pass Sainz for 15 laps with similarly aged tyres and then when he had fresher tyres and was over 2 seconds faster he still took 10 laps to pass Alonso and only succeeded because Alonso made a mistake.

          2. @randommallard Marginally faster at best as otherwise, he would’ve eventually overtaken Ocon. He may have been quicker, but the delta needed on this track for overtaking without the driver ahead making an error wasn’t large enough.

      2. Vettel underperforming the most? As we saw with Hamilton, even with a massive car advantage, overtaking here is not easy, and Vettel was just slightly faster than Ocon. You must also factor in that Ocon was lift-and-coasting quite early so his pace was not representative. He could be fast in the last corners and that’s all that’s needed here. Vettel did good. Piling on the pressure, had good speed and didn’t make mistakes. That’s 2 podiums for Aston now.

        1. If he had a car only slightly faster and couldn’t pass then it’s not enough to conclude that he have underperformed the most, especially considering it’s a track that makes it hard to overtake.

  3. I Googled Mirko Bortolotti as the name was entirely unfamiliar to me and interestingly found out about him being linked as Massa replacement in 2009, succeeding Badoer, who eventually got replaced by Fisichella.
    He’s also tested F2008 on Fiorano and appearance for Williams in post-2011 Abu Dhabi GP young driver test.

  4. I have an unrelated question, but I don’t know where else to ask @keithcollantine :why is the predictions standings still stuch on Silverstone and even showing 0 for everyone?

  5. Stewart’s not wrong. But then again, lots of drivers would have been killed over the last few years if the accidents happened in the 60s. You simply couldn’t afford to take the 50/50 chances then (like say Russell on Bottas in Imola this year). The mentality of drivers surely changes when the threat of certain death is removed. Given how horribly unsafe cars and tracks from the 50s to 70s in particular were, it’s actually kinda surprising more weren’t killed…

    1. @tommy-c Cars were significantly slower, I guess? I’m not certain if that was a factor, though.

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