Ocon pleased with opportunistic pass on “impatient” Alonso

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In the round-up: Esteban Ocon was satisfied with his pass on his former team mate during the Singapore Grand Prix.

In brief

Alonso was “growing impatient” behind Perez – Ocon

Ocon spent 36 laps behind Fernando Alonso before pouncing on the Aston Martin driver for eighth place as the pair ran behind the slowing Sergio Perez.

The Alpine driver gained two more places as the Red Bull pair pitted, but he retired with a third of the race to go. Nonetheless, Ocon was pleased to have been on course for a good result and particularly satisfied with his pass on former team mate Alonso.

“It feels as good as taking sixth place,” he said of the move. “It was quite nice.

“Early in the race I saw that I was quite comfortably following him, much more than the other races where we were quite close on track. His rear-end was quite loose, mine was quite stable, and I knew that at some point my time would come, because there was a lot of fighting. Max [Verstappen] was off, Sergio was quite slow ahead and I was seeing him growing impatient and at some point obviously tried to go, and that opens the door for me to go alongside and then to pass also Checo.”

Piastri “really happy” with 17th to seventh charge

Oscar Piastri scored the third-best result of his rookie season so far in Singapore with seventh place and did so from a lowly 17th on the grid.

The McLaren driver ran 14th through the race’s first stint, gained a spot with his first pit stop, and then another on a Safety Car restart. When Kevin Magnussen had two offs on lap 36 of 62, Piastri profited to take 12th and then the Red Bull drivers’ pit stops and Ocon’s retirement lifted him to eighth. That became seventh when Alonso pitted, and although he was overtaken by Verstappen he moved back up a place when George Russell crashed out ahead on the last lap.

“I’m really, really happy,” said Piastri afterwards. “I think starting 17th in Singapore is never the most exciting prospect. So to come away with P7, after all that, is a fantastic result. I don’t think we could have done more than that. So I’m very happy, a great result for the team as well, great points.

“I think we’ve had a really good start. First lap as well. Picked off a few cars and then we just were patient and had a safety car that was at the right time, this time, which helped. Some good fortune, but also some good moves, good patience and just capitalising only when we had to.”

Mercedes juniors make headlines in Italy

The highest profile junior single-seater series in action last weekend was the Formula Regional European Championship, and points leader Andrea Kimi Antonelli nearly won both its races at Monza.

The Mercedes Formula 1 junior won the first race on-the-road from fourth on the grid, but was handed a post-race penalty for illegally activating push-to-pass on lap one. That dropped him to 11th in the final results, but he bounced back the next day with pole and victory to cement his status as title favourite.

Fellow Mercedes junior Alex Powell meanwhile did win a title, as the Champions of the Future kart series finished at Franciacorta. He did not win a single race at the event, but second in the final was more than enough to make him champion. He confirmed that, after next month’s World Karting Championship, he will move up from karts for cars.

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Comment of the day

The five-second penalty that Sergio Perez was handed for his contact with Alex Albon in the Singapore Grand Prix had no impact on his finishing position, and the Red Bull driver actually ended the race frustrated that Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton had gone unpenalised for passing him off-track.

According to the stewards, Pérez was supposedly only “predominantly to blame” but “there was nothing that [Albon] could have done to avoid the collision”. Makes sense… somehow.

So it’s 10 seconds for track limits in Austria for Sainz and Hamilton, and five seconds for barging Albon out of the way, into the barriers, and out of the points for a Red Bull driver in Singapore. Also makes total sense.

One shudders to think what kind of incident must occur for stewards to hand out a drive-through penalty… or even a stop and go. Maybe we’ll find out if Dan Ticktum ever makes it to an FP1 session.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Robk23 and Patrick!

On this day in motorsport

  • 30 years ago today Nigel Mansell clinched the CART IndyCar title as a rookie with victory in the Nazareth Grand Prix, his final win in an IndyCar

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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24 comments on “Ocon pleased with opportunistic pass on “impatient” Alonso”

  1. I’ve never had an idea of Red Bull taking the general F1 team nature to extremes or any greater extent than others.

    Formula Scout: What a silly error by a single marshal.

    So Yuki had more than just a puncture, after all.

    Like in the COTD, I’m also surprised drive-through or stop-and-go haven’t been handed for a while.
    The last stop-and-go went for Seb in the 2017 Azerbaijan GP & the last drive-through must be from the V8 era, perhaps even Seb in the 2010 Hungarian GP.
    The track limits penalties in Austria weren’t 10 seconds on the go, though, but two separate 5-second ones, iirc.
    Good joke about Dan Ticktum, though.

    1. In Austria, there was a 5 seconds penalty for 4th infringement, then you had 10 seconds for 5th infringement – so for 5 infringements, you had 15 seconds. After 5th, counter was reseted and that’s why Ocon collected 30 seconds – for 10 infringements.

    2. Hamilton and Giovinazzi both got a stop-go at Monza 2020 for entering a closed pit lane – one of the small number of infringements where the penalty is actually prescribed in the rules.

  2. Penalty system is a joke. 5s if you take out another driver see Ham at Spa and Monza or Perez at Singapore, 5s if you speed in the pit lane or 10s if your name is Ocon.

    FIA firstly needs to stop sucking up to the top teams and their drivers and hand them penalties looking at the outcome as well. In many cases they do look at the outcome yet they act like they don’t. I think if I have enough free time to kill ill not be surprised to find it statistically significant when it comes to testing the hypothesis that top drivers and teams get away with a lot relative to bottom teams or drivers.

    A penalty being draconian is the only way they can ensure better and more clean racing. I don’t mind this being an additional factor if it can produce more winners. How lovely would it be that a driver basically gets a 30s penalty after the race should they have taken out their opposition at some point? Or a 10 place drop after the race had they done the same? You can’t expect to ruin somebody’s race and then just get away scot free, and in the case you win, you drop to 11th. Perfect for everyone.

    Of course have some leniency wrt lap 1 incidents, only for the first couple of corners but after that grow a pair and penalize based on the outcome and the action.

  3. Sometimes it is good that Ocon does this self promotion. Otherwise we would forget all together there are actually also two Renault driving around in F1

    1. The few occasions in his life where he has beaten Alonso, he’s made sure to heap as much self praise on himself as possible. I remember him gloating last season when he finished with more points than Alonso. Alonso would have had double his points total if it wasn’t for mechanical DNFs and bad luck, but Ocon turned it in to a self glory moment and a true testament to his ‘incredible’ talent that he beat the double WDC.

      I really hope Gasly finishes ahead of Ocon in the points this year. Gasly should release a statement of how he’s established himself as team leader after just one season at Alpine. Ocon has been the better driver this year imho, but it would be hilarious to see him get a dose of his own medicine.

      1. Exactly, This guy thinks he is better than Alonso. And Alpine team is also very stupid team. They could have Alonso and Piastri as their drivers in 2023 but their stupidity and Ocon-love lost but championship material drivers.
        Ocon is really frustrating.

      2. I do wonder whether that comes from not having had family/network money behind him unlike many of his peers, which meant from a young age he had to work to self-promote @todfod

        Yeah, it’s a bit much/silly, but I find I can have it, especially when it happens ‘to’ Alonso, who’s so good at framing his wins and losses himself that this feels like a bit of a parody of that!

        1. That’s a great take! Ocon is indeed almost parodying Alonso.

          Now I want to know if he’s doing it on purpose.

          1. He did do it on purpose on many occasions while Alonso was at Alpine.

        2. I think we knew what kind of personality Ocon has when he bumped a race leader of when he was already lapped. I would rather say his personality stands more in the way of success than lack of family/network money. After all F1 is a team sport.

          1. Agree completely. F1 has always had unlikeable characters.. heck.. I would say Max is an unlikeable character, but his talent speaks in such large volumes that the personality doesn’t even matter.

            Ocon doesn’t have the talent, nor does he have an amicable personality. He’s a mediocre talent… whose whole point to go racing is not to win, but to beat his teammate. He’s probably insecure as he’s never really beaten a teammate – Perez beat him 2 years at Force India, followed By Danny Ric beating him at Renault. Alonso beat him in his comeback season as well… but was unlucky not to thrash him on the scoreboard in their second season together. None of Ocon’s teammates have liked him.. and I’ve never seen him sacrifice his self interest for a good result for the team.

            I honestly don’t understand why a team like Alpine would even keep him. He’s not WDC material and nor is he marketable.

          2. What exactly is the problem with Max? He comes across as a ‘say it as it is’ kind of guy to me, not sugar coating anything and certainly not open to perform PR shows. Furthermore he focuses on himself and doesn’t black ball others, which in my opinion is essential to become a true athlete. After all it is not about them-ism. I especially like he doesn’t join in the Toto-Marko-Christian-Lewis mud fight but takes the high road as he knows it is a sign of weakness to resort to anything else than on track action. Is it his directness? Or the swearing?

        3. @bosyber

          To be fair.. Hamilton didn’t come from money as well, but he lets his driving do the talking, not gloat in self proclaimed glory at the smallest of achievements.

          1. Still hurts, I see?

          2. “I honestly don’t understand why a team like Alpine would even keep him. He’s not WDC material and nor is he marketable”

            I totally understand why a team like Alpine would keep him:)

          3. @hje

            What hurts? Are you even replying the comment you intended to?

      3. Guillaume Raton
        19th September 2023, 16:29

        More wins than him in the last 10 years mate.
        keep whining

        1. Awww…

          Maybe Fernando and his fans should use his 2 WDCs are a shoulder to cry on :(
          Something Ocon and his fans like you will never have.

  4. Ocon is getting stiff competition from Gasly who is not yet totally comfortable with the car yet so he is looking for something positive – anything.
    Last year he boasted outpointing ALO which was a farce as the latter had many DNF’s or he would have trounced him.
    As far as OCON not finishing the race last weekend – must have been Karma as ALO would say:) I think he has a lot more coming his way.

    1. Karma indeed!

  5. I guess Blockon has to be proud of the overtake on the man he had tried to run off the circuit for the past 2.5 years in an Alpine. If I were him, I would refrain from trying to win small battles in races against Alonso, and try to win the wars like the best drivers on the grid do. At 28 years of age, he seems a journeyman of a driver, and it would not surprise me to see him demoted if he continues to produce his usual P10 finishes over the past 2-3 years. He will never be a world champion, no matter what car he is given. Too retaliatory to do so.

  6. Ocon showed Alonso how to do it.

  7. Esteban Ocon is the kind of guy who prefers a 19P (provided his teammate gets 20P) than a 2P (if his teammate wins)

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