Silverstone race will be “a war”, says frustrated Ocon

Renault Formula 1 driver Esteban Ocon expects his 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone to be “a war” after he qualified out of position in a frustrated 14th place.

Silverstone race will be “a war”, says frustrated Ocon
Listen to this article

The Frenchman struggled to match the pace of teammate Daniel Ricciardo, and could manage only 11th place in Q2.

He was then bumped down to 14th by a three-place penalty for impeding fellow Mercedes protege George Russell in Q1, while Ricciardo will start from fifth position.

Ocon expects to have a fight to make up ground with a car that is potentially quicker than some of those ahead.

“For sure it’s going to be a war tomorrow,” he said after the session. “Where I will start, normally there are slower cars around there. We should have a better pace and make some moves like we did last week.

“Of course we are starting quite far off the points. We are going to try and get the most opportunity that we can, but it's not going to be easy, even though normally we should have the pace to get back into the points.

“On the penalty side it’s unfortunate what happened. I was on the out lap overtaking [Antonio] Giovinazzi, I was not aware that Russell was coming. I got the penalty and I think it was deserved, it ruined George’s lap. Not well managed from our side.”

Ocon indicated that there was a disparity in the performance of the two cars that Renault could not explain.

“There’s a lot of tests that we’ve done basically,” he said. “And we didn’t find the right thing to put on our car. There’s clearly a difference between the two cars.

“Obviously they are the same spec, and we’re looking to see what went wrong on mine, and what we could do better to close that gap down, and see where it comes from.

“On my side, I just couldn't get as quick in some corners as Daniel did. I think on his side there has been, what we are looking for, the good step from last week to this week. On our side we didn't improve as much as we are supposed to.

"We need to have a good review, but for sure we have already seen a few things that don't really stack up. I was quite a lot down on straight line speed. That is the first thing between the cars.

“There's been some differences that we need to find out about because clearly last week it was quite well managed for us both in terms of performance. This week we've missed out on our side.”

Read Also:

Renault sporting director Alan Permane said there was no need for the team to “panic” about Ocon’s lack of pace this weekend.

“I think he’s about three and a half tenths away from Daniel, which is a chunk,” said Permane. “But Daniel’s got a fresh power unit this weekend, so there’s a tenth there. So he’s two and a half tenths away. 

“I don’t think there’s anything sinister there, it’s just that Daniel’s car was perfect, and Esteban’s wasn’t quite perfect. There’s nothing to panic about.”

"Of course we need to understand why, and he’s deeply frustrated about it. He needs to keep calm, it’s his first season with the team. If you’re two and half tenths away from Daniel Ricciardo, you’re doing OK, he obviously wants to be two and a half tenths in front of him, and rightly so.

Ricciardo targets Hulkenberg

Starting from fifth, Ricciardo hopes he can take the fight to third-starting Nico Hulkenberg, who impressed in qualifying for Racing Point but hasn't started a grand prix since Abu Dhabi 2019. 

"Typically, I look at the guys around me," said Ricciardo. "I think Max is the unknown. Max you'd think will have a bit more race pace, but he's starting on the hard, which looks quite nice, but it might not work for him. He might be in his own little race.

"But I do feel that Nico can be a target. I think even on the fact alone that he hasn't done a race or race distance yet, so for him just to understand the car, and I don't know if there were fans here maybe someone would be lucky enough to catch his head in one of the high speed corners by about lap 20!

"He's obviously got the car under him, but I think he'll have a few other obstacles to face tomorrow, so that that could certainly bring him in the battle, and I think it will be a good one."

shares
comments
McLaren drivers: 'Right decision to bring softer tyres'
Previous article

McLaren drivers: 'Right decision to bring softer tyres'

Next article

Rivals set to probe Mercedes role in Racing Point saga at appeal

Rivals set to probe Mercedes role in Racing Point saga at appeal
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022