Alpine’s Esteban Ocon endured a miserable Sunday at the Sakhir circuit after being penalized for three driving offenses in one race; equaled the mark previously set by Pastor Maldonado at the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix
Last update: 03/05/23 20:08
Esteban Ocon equaled an unwanted record at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix after being penalized three times for infringements by the stewards.
The Alpine driver was initially penalized for an inaccurate starting position, then received an additional penalty for failing to properly serve that penalty during a pit stop, followed by a third speeding violation in pit lane.
He equaled the mark of three driving penalties in a race set by Pastor Maldonado at the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix, and then Ocon was unable to explain what happened.
“We were too far ahead at grid point, it was very clear,” said Ocon. “I don’t want to go into details, but we are generally very good at all of this operational stuff.
“What we’ve done today, we’ve done it the same way I’ve done it for the last five years, but today was different.
“We need to analyze, we need to see what happened and come back stronger.”
Ocon had qualified ninth for the opening race of the 2023 Formula 1 season, but fell apart on the grid when stewards deemed he had aligned his right front tire outside the starting box and received a five-time penalty. seconds.
Then, while serving that in the pit lane, the Frenchman took additional punishment for a mechanic starting work on his car with 4.6 seconds of five seconds elapsed, resulting in a 10-second penalty.
To complicate matters, Ocon was handed an additional five-second penalty for exceeding the 80kph speed limit in pit lane by 0.1kph, and a thoroughly miserable day was forced to retire on lap 41 with a mechanical issue. .
The last time a driver was penalized for three driving offenses was eight years ago when the Lotus Maldonado driver was penalized for a collision with Sergio Perez and speeding in the pit lane, followed by having 10 seconds added to his total race time to pass under insurance. car.
Despite the forgettable start to the year, Ocon was buoyed by the performance of his Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly, who secured two points for the Enstone-based outfit with a ninth-place finish.
“It’s a missed opportunity today and we could have been in the points so we’ll come back stronger,” Ocon said.
“We were fast like the Ferrari in that last stint. That could be very encouraging.”