Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Miami International Autodrome, 2022

Ocon’s physical condition was “50%” in race after 51G practice crash

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In the round-up: Esteban Ocon says scoring points from last place after his crash in practice felt like a victory.

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In brief

Miami points like a win for Ocon

Ocon was unable to qualify for the Miami Grand Prix after heavily damaging his car during a final practice crash into the concrete barrier at turn 14. He recovered to eighth in the race, which he described as being “a victory for us.”

“I do think there was clearly a mountain to climb for all of us. But I think from the strategy to the radio calls, the tyre management, everything was perfect today.”

He admitted he felt in poor shape after his crash, which registered an impact of 51G. “To end up in the points being 50% physically as well for me feels like a win.”

“A lot of work ahead” for AlphaTauri to understand loss of pace in Miami

AlphaTauri suffered a miserable Sunday in Miami, failing to take home any points after both drivers finished in the top 10. Contact ended Pierre Gasly’s race and Yuki Tsunoda suffered a loss of pace.

Technical director Jody Egginton said: “Yuki struggled in the first stint, so we gambled on an early stop but the pace and car balance in his second stint was also inconsistent, meaning it was difficult to make sufficient progress.

“We need to go through all the data to understand the reasons behind these issues. Yuki managed to show some better pace in his final stint on the soft tyre, but by this point we were running out of laps to move forward further, and he finished out of the points.”

“We have a lot of work ahead of us before we arrive in Barcelona,” Egginton admitted. “We need to understand the various factors behind today’s performance, so we can move forward with our package and get back to scoring points.”

Cooler temperatures pushed teams towards one-stop strategies

Pirelli’s head of motorsport Mario Isola said cooler temperatures on Sunday in Miami allowed drivers to manage tyres to a one-stop strategy, rather than the two stops anticipated by the tyre manufacturer.

The Miami Grand Prix took place with track temperatures more than 10C cooler than in practice sessions, starting at less than 40C rather than the temperatures in excess of 52C seen during previous track time.

“A strong performance from the tyres here, which meant that the race gravitated towards a one-stop strategy, whereas we had previously anticipated a two-stopper,” said Isola. “This was also thanks to the fact that temperatures were notably cooler today compared to previous days.

“The teams were able to stretch their first stints, probably in the expectation of a safety car or other opportunity, but in the end that only came towards the end of the race, after nearly everybody had stopped.”

W Series has “same ambitions for America that F1 has”

W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir has said that the series intends to build its largest fanbase in the United States, following its opening 2022 rounds being set at the Miami Grand Prix.

“I would like to have said that we chose Miami purposefully, that it was actually to start off with a bang because unquestionably this feels like the biggest party going on this weekend in the States,” Bond Muir explained. “But when we choose which races we’re going to we’re given a certain number of races we can go to and then it’s just a question of logistics, whether logistically we can get to places. So I don’t think we said, ‘right, we’re going to pick Miami and everything’s got to sort out around it’ but it was it was pretty close to it.

“We knew that this was going to be a massive event with a lot of noise in America,” she continued. “I make no bones about it that in the future I have the same ambitions for America that F1 has. We want America to be our largest audience because I think it’s going to be a much easier audience; they’re very, very engaged in sports, they’re increasingly engaged within Formula 1 because of Drive To Survive.

“But also they love women’s sport. There was a soccer match, football match a couple of weeks ago at Angel City that was sold out. They are absolutely embracing it and I’ve just been speaking to people now about it and they’re saying that it they believe it was the most exciting and the best soccer match that has ever happened in the states and it was all women. So we believe that this is a key market for us.”

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Comment of the day

After the high temperatures of Miami failed to create a major degradation issue for drivers, Gusmaia asks if pit stops will become more of a final-lap formality (or opportune early-race safety car procedure) with this year’s compounds?

Issue for discussion during the week: Has Pirelli been too conservative on compound choices?

Okay, tyres failed in the last years and the new wheel might created some unknowns but Albon went the full distance on hards in Australia and Russell was set to do the same today. Furthermore mediums today went half the distance allowing for Verstappen and Leclerc to exchange fastest laps on the later part of the stint.

If we have the same selection for Barcelona, we will se more drivers starting on hards and trying to pull a full race on them.

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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12 comments on “Ocon’s physical condition was “50%” in race after 51G practice crash”

  1. It’s not that Pirelli have been too conservative and more that i believe they opted to produce more durable tyres for this year that allow drivers to push harder for longer when in a close fight for position.

    One of the biggest complaints with the high degredation tyres of the prior 10 years was that if a driver pushed them when in a close fight they overheated fairly quickly which it was felt was hurting rather than helping the racing.

    I also don’t think Albon doing all but 1 lap on a hard compound in Melbourne or Russell maybe trying the same in Miami is a negative. It gives teams further back or drivers who are out of position a really different option should they want to risk it and that to me is a positive.

    It’s also not something i see becoming the primary strategy for most the field, More something that someone starting further down the order may try under certain circumstances every so often. Sometimes it will work, Sometimes it may not and having the option to try it should be available.

    1. It’s not that Pirelli have been too conservative and more that i believe they opted to produce more durable tyres for this year that allow drivers to push harder for longer when in a close fight for position.

      Yeah, that certainly is a factor @stefmeister, and I think most of us are happy to see that meticulous tyremanagement not being the biggest factor anymore with them.

      Also, the difference in temperature will have helped make it a 1 stopper for most of them today. If they manage to make the distance with one stoppers too often, Pirelli will just choose the softer compounds for future races. And car development will push the tyres more and more too as the season progresses.

  2. I watched this weekend’s action on f1tv with Edwards and Watson, how nostalgic. 40 years since Gilles death, didn’t catch any celebrations if there were any, caught a glimpse of Jacques though. To me the best thing this weekend was Watson and Edwards, only caught one mistake by Watson, unbelievable, and for the first time this year in f1tv someone provided the tyre data live. how bad can sky be, easily beaten, they are unwatchable.
    cotd, the loads at barcelona are going to trully test your assessement.

    1. F1tv sounds like bliss!
      I’m very jealous. Alas more Croft for me…

      1. I watched the f1tv coverage for the first time this weekend and found it to be very refreshing. Ben Edwards is a top quality commentator, far superior to Crofty’s shouting. Watson was enjoying himself as well, though I feel the sport has become more fast-paced and he was struggling to keep up on some occasions.

        @peartree The only coverage I found on Giles was the official youtube channel putting up a video with Leclerc and Rene Arnoux – could have been longer but at least they did something nice.

        1. He knows certain a lot but i noticed his problems to following things to report. The other person had to correct him a lot. Luckly i had all the info myself on my F1TV pro otherwise it because confusing.

          1. They did tend to miss a bit of what was going on behind the top ten several times yeah @macleod. But man was it a nice nostalgia to get Watson commenting on the race with Edwards, certainly beats the SkyF1 team.

            I have been very happy with them since I got the subscription. Especially last year we hardly got far more even handed coverage of the battle between Max and Lewis @ciaran, @eurobrun and they are still doing a great job.

            Joylon Palmer, Alex Brundle etc. Sam Collins actually knows what he is talking about with regards to technical issues and he regularly points out strategy pointers to what we can expect etc.

  3. some racing fan
    9th May 2022, 5:54

    Austin doesn’t have an arduous task ahead. It is fine as it is. Every race should have its own character- and Austin is the kind of circuit like the ones in Europe that are for common, non-wealthy racing fans- the kind of traditional track where you don’t need a grandstand ticket to see the race. What Formula One cannot become- particularly over here- is a spectacle that costs so much to attend that only wealthy people can attend it. That will turn people off to it, no matter how popular Drive to Survive becomes.

  4. With regards to W Series’ American ambitions, I seriously believe that they should have pulled out all the stops to get on next weekend’s Indy Car GP of Indianapolis support bill.
    Bringing W Series to a more racing roots crowd at America’s unofficial temple of motorsport just a week after the glitz of Miami would have been a great opportunity in my mind.

    1. @eurobrun I agree.

  5. Tsunoda’s slowness was indeed surprising. Even catching Latifi took quite many laps despite car & tyre advantage.

    I also predict the LV GP will have a Miami-esque experience or even greater in magnitude.

    Judging whether Pirelli has been too conservative or not is difficult, but I doubt doing one-stop strategies starting on the hardest compound option & stopping towards the end would become a new norm.

  6. Ocon was in a 51G crash. Wasn’t Max’s crash at Silverstone also 51G? I’m not sure why journalists are always so quick to quote G numbers, as the number in itself doesn’t mean anything unless you also know the duration of the force and the vector. In fact, it isn’t even clear if it was just one sensor on the car which momentarily recorded 51G, or if it was Ocon himself, strapped in and surrounded by padding etc who was subject to that force.

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