How Ocon pulled off his Hakkinen-style Spa F1 double overtake

Esteban Ocon channelled his inner Mika Hakkinen by completing a brilliant double pass along the Kemmel Straight at Spa, drawing comparisons to the two-time Formula 1 champion's move in 2000.

How Ocon pulled off his Hakkinen-style Spa F1 double overtake
Listen to this article

Ocon charged from 16th on the grid to finish seventh for Alpine in the Belgian Grand Prix, calling the performance "our best weekend of the yer so far, and probably since I joined the team".

The key to Ocon's charge up the order was the Alpine car's impressive straight-line speed, which also allowed Fernando Alonso to fight high up the order in the opening stages and eventually finish fifth.

Ocon managed two double passes during his rise up the field, the first coming on lap 15 when he overtook Daniel Ricciardo and Nicholas Latifi under braking into the Bus Stop chicane.

But the second was the one that really got the paddock talking as Ocon swept past Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly at the end of the Kemmel Straight.

With Vettel sat in the middle of the track as Gasly and Ocon went either side, it drew comparisons to when Hakkinen overtook Michael Schumacher in similar fashion at Spa in 2000, using lapped backmarker Ricardo Zonta in the middle of the track as a decoy.

 

Ocon began to plot the move coming out of La Source, noting that Vettel was overtaking Gasly too early and would be without DRS for the long run.

He then used the tactic of a little lift on the run to Eau Rouge to open the gap a bit, meaning he could maximise the slingshot effect at the top of the hill exiting Raidillon before sweeping past both cars.

"I was like, the detection is there and he's passing Pierre too early, because he's not going to get the DRS!" Ocon explained.

"From there on, I lifted the throttle a bit, got myself a little bit of a gap to be able to use the straight-line speed. And then the surprise and confirmation was that Pierre had DRS.

"I was able to go on the left side. Seb was very fair, he could have closed a bit on the left but he didn't do, and I managed to get Pierre around the outside of Turn 5."

Vettel said he was "fighting without weapons" given the lack of DRS, leaving him powerless to try and stop Ocon coming through.

Ocon laughed when he was asked if he had been watching any of Hakkinen's videos recently, but revealed he had in fact spoken to the McLaren F1 great ahead of the race.

 

"Mika came and talked to me before the race as well in the paddock! It's a good coincidence," said Ocon, who realised the similarity of the moves after the race.

"It was definitely good fun. I've enjoyed the racing today, the car was extremely fast in a straight line, so I was managing the timing right about when to overtake.

"From where we started, I think 16th or 17th, I think we were expecting one point and we got six out of today. So definitely a good result for us."

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

How F1 Contract Recognition Board will decide Piastri’s fate
Previous article

How F1 Contract Recognition Board will decide Piastri’s fate

Next article

Red Bull: Eau Rouge F1 compromises, not lightweight chassis, behind Spa form

Red Bull: Eau Rouge F1 compromises, not lightweight chassis, behind Spa form
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022