Ocon: Track limits penalty "not justified"

GP3 championship leader Esteban Ocon has expressed his frustration at the penalty that denied him the win in the penultimate race of the season at Yas Marina.

Ocon led every lap of the race on his way to the chequered flag, but was demoted to fourth by a five-second penalty that he had picked up at the start of the race.

The stewards adjudged that Ocon gained an unfair advantage by exceeding track limits on the outside of Turn 1 and a time penalty was confirmed halfway through the event.

The Frenchman, who would have been crowned champion with a race to spare if the race win stood, was visibly frustrated after the race and defiantly parked his car in the #1 spot in parc ferme.

"In Turn 1, I ran a bit wide and lifted off so that I didn't gain any advantage," Ocon told Canal+. "But they still gave me a five-second penalty. In my opinion, it's not justified.

"We could have at least talked about it by calling me to the stewards' after the race. Now, five seconds during the race, I don't think that's normal.

"I could have pulled well away [in the points] today, and I'm fourth because of the five seconds.

"Now, I'm going to have to limit the damage in the reverse-grid race and we'll see how it goes, but I need to win the championship at the end."

Title permutations

Ocon and title rival Luca Ghiotto will enter the final race of the season six points apart, with 17 left up for grabs. The Frenchman will start fifth, just one spot behind Ghiotto.

Due to the Italian's five wins trumping Ocon's sole season-opening victory, Ghiotto will win the title on countback should he outscore the Mercedes junior by six points exactly.

And with the two points for the fastest lap adding uncertainty to the picture, Ocon can only be assured of the championship if he finishes in the top two  - or right behind Ghiotto.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series GP3
Event Yas Marina
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Drivers Esteban Ocon , Luca Ghiotto
Teams ART Grand Prix
Article type Breaking news