Ocon’s seat broke in two in “violent” first lap crash-landing

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Esteban Ocon said his seat broke in two after he crashed to the ground in the first-lap collision which put him out of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Both Alpine drivers were forced out of the race after Ocon was hit from behind, sending him into team mate Pierre Gasly. Ocon’s car rode on top of the other A523 and landed heavily.

The two cars suffered race-ending damage. Speaking in response to a question from RaceFans at the Hungaroring, Ocon said his seat “broke in two pieces, that’s how hard the impact was and how violent it was.”

He didn’t realise exactly what the cause of his handling problem was after the crash. “I just completely dropped in the car and I thought it was the rear suspension that was broken because the car was handling terribly, obviously, after that much damage,” he explained. “But no, it was actually the seat that broke, which changed my position.”

Ocon was frustrated by the collision, which was triggered by Zhou Guanyu, who ran into Daniel Ricciardo, sending the AlphaTauri into the Alpine. Ocon had Gasly on his outside at the time, who had made a rapid start on a set of the soft compound tyres.

“We had plenty of room,” said Ocon. “I think at the time I would have taken the position, got around the car that was on the inside, it would have been tight with Pierre on the exit but it would have been okay.

“Obviously Pierre was starting on the soft tyre so that was always the aim for him to get quite a lot of positions at the start. But that was not the problem, the problem was the hit from behind that took us both out.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

He said the collision wasn’t “bad luck” but “the consequences of starting in the back.” He started 12th, three places ahead of Gasly, while Zhou got away poorly from fifth.

“A double DNF is a big shame. After that start I already gained a place obviously from Zhou and I was probably going to go around the outside of whoever it was on the inside but I was probably going to be P10 already so there was some good prospects.

“But this will have to be done next week. We are lucky enough to be racing and forget that one quite quickly.”

Gasly, who suffered rear wing damage in the collision, said it was “extremely frustrating for the whole team” to lose both cars on the first lap.

“On my side I took a really good start, we knew it was the target with the soft tyre. I managed to get off the line very well, positioned myself well into turn one, braked late, make already a couple of positions.

“From what I saw and heard Zhou touched Daniel who touched Esteban and then Esteban ended up on top of my car. So it’s just very unfortunate.”

The double retirement means Alpine haven’t scored a point for the last two races in a row. “We just don’t seem to catch a break at the moment,” said Gasly. “Every weekend we seem to have some unfortunate scenarios like that and I hope we can get away from this sort of spiral quite quickly and just get a clean run, especially for next weekend before the summer break.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

7 comments on “Ocon’s seat broke in two in “violent” first lap crash-landing”

  1. Frustrating for Alpine, to have both out without it being either of their faults. I think a lot of people have been waiting for the ‘ticking time bomb’ of Ocon and Gasly and the helicopter cam suggested they’d found each other, that was my impression, but it was a few others who introduced Pierre & Esteban to each other.

    Getting dropped like that in an F1 car can’t be fun. If it can crack a carbon fibre seat in two, the back, neck, tail bone must absorb a big whack again. It looks safe because of the speed and run off. But with next to no suspension, I imagine there will be some sore vertebrae tomorrow morning.

    1. Or even in 10 or 20 years (seriously).
      Step off a kerb ,up one step etc. and this “previous trauma” can be a whole new adventure in pain and debilitating.

  2. The seat isna safett device, used to lift a driver out of the car when unconcious. That seat breaking in two is a serious safety issue.

    That hit was no where near as hard as a crash where they actually NEED to use the seat for that. That seriously worries me…

    1. He went to the medical centre for a checkup as his back was sore.

  3. The seat is a safety device, used to lift a driver out of the car when unconcious. That seat breaking in two is a serious safety issue.

    That hit was no where near as hard as a crash where they actually NEED to use the seat for that. That seriously worries me…

    1. @cdfemke +1
      Halo is good
      Removable steering wheel doesn’t get credit it deserves.
      This should be a warning.
      Safety should never sleep.
      Danger never does.

  4. A team in crisis from top to bottom. Lack of leadership, strategy, and direction shows in all areas, but especially on the track.

Comments are closed.