Esteban Ocon blames Fernando Alonso for their incident in Brazil, arguing the Spaniard didn’t leave enough space.
The first part of Brazil’s Sprint shootout was brought to an abrupt end as Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso made contact. The former teammates collided at the S-section of the Interlagos circuit, both suffering extensive damage from their incident.
Ocon was eliminated from the session, whilst Fernando Alonso’s damage was too extensive to return to track. Unsurprisingly, this collision is one of the biggest talking points currently circulating in F1 circles.
Whilst in the car, the French driver was swift to blame the Double World Champion for the incident. The 42-year-old, meanwhile, was far more diplomatic in his team radio message.
After assessing onboard footage from both drivers, it seems clear that Ocon made a mistake on his last attempt.
A significant snap put him well off the racing line and into the AMR23 of Fernando Alonso. Though some could argue the Spaniard could have left more space, there is no denying that Ocon’s mistake resulted in contact. Generally speaking, this is the consensus of fans and journalists alike.
Ocon blames Alonso
Despite this, however, Esteban Ocon has no intention of taking the blame for the collision – or even describing it as a racing incident:
“I heard people say I lost the car – it’s not true. We had corrections like that throughout,” he told Sky Sports.
“Fernando steered to the left in the middle of the corner and didn’t leave enough space. And we collided in the end…
“He [Alonso, at the stewards] was trying to counteract all the arguments, saying he left enough space.
“But the reality is that if Fernando is not there on the right, we don’t collide.”
To some degree, this response is to be expected from an F1 driver. After all, it is rare that drivers take responsibility for their incidents – especially when they are still under investigation.
However, Ocon’s perspective on the collision seems slightly skewed. Although some corrections in turn 2 are common, his snap was very significant – and would ruined his lap in any case. Alonso cannot be blamed for assuming the 28-year-old would take the corner correctly.
Both drivers will await the stewards’ analysis and eventual verdict on the contact. Aston Martin should be able to repair the damage to Alonso’s car, though Ocon’s participation in the Sprint is less certain.