Home-favourite Esteban Ocon had a Sunday to forget at last weekend’s French Grand Prix after a first lap collision ended his race before it even had a chance to begin.
Ocon narrowly missed out making Q3 on Saturday, meaning that he lined up eleventh on the grid for the race. He made a good start to be running level with compatriot Romain Grosjean, but the pair made contact on the opening lap. Grosjean was later given a penalty for the crash.
The collision resulted in significant damage for Ocon and to worsen matters, he was involved in another incident with Pierre Gasly, ending both of their races instantly. Neither were penalised for the contact, but both were reprimanded after the race.
“A very disappointing day,” Ocon commented.
“I made a good start and got alongside Romain [Grosjean] down the pit straight before he made contact with me. I was on the edge of the track but he moved over and hit me, which caused a lot of damage to the side of my car and the floor.
After that, Pierre [Gasly] lost it under braking in turn three and hit me from behind, which ended my race completely.”
His retirement was the third in five races, a stark comparison to his impressive record of race finishes from last year. He sits in joint thirteenth in the championship with eleven points.
“I feel very sad right now because I have been looking forward to racing in front of my home crowd for such a long time and it only lasted three corners. The fans here have been amazing all weekend so I have to say a big ‘thank you’ for all the positive energy they have given me.”