Formula 1

Ocon Sixth in Austria Sprint But Admits: “One more lap today and it could’ve been a different story”

2 Mins read
Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team

Esteban Ocon was satisfied with his sixth-place finish in the Sprint race at the Red Bull Ring, although he admits he was lucky after he was forced to stop his car on the way back to the pits after the chequered flag.

The BWT Alpine F1 Team driver withstood the pressure of Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen across the opening few laps, but once he was clear of the Dane, he was able to run in his own pace. 

He did lose a position to Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez, who was charging through the field after his post-Qualifying penalty, but he was pleased with sixth.

“I am definitely very satisfied with sixth place in today’s Sprint,” said Ocon.  “We had a decent start and managed to stay ahead of Kevin [Magnussen] in the first couple of laps, before building a healthy advantage over both Haas’.

“The Mercedes of George [Russell] was too quick for us and so, in the end, I feel we maximised today, securing a good starting position on the grid for tomorrow’s Grand Prix and also picking up some points along the way.”

However, had the race been one lap longer, it could have seen him pull off and into retirement, and Ocon hopes the problem can be solved before Sunday’s main race in Austria.

“One more lap today and it could’ve been a different story, as I was forced to stop the car at Turn 1 during the in-lap. The team are currently looking into what happened and I’m confident we can be ready for tomorrow.”

“It’s a frustrating feeling not being able to start today’s Sprint” – Fernando Alonso

Team-mate Fernando Alonso saw his chances of points on Saturday disappear before the race even got going, with an electrical issue preventing him from starting.

Alonso admits it was frustrating not to start, particularly with the pace the team had shown across the weekend, and he knows it will be difficult to climb through the field.

However, he hopes his fortune can change and he can fight through the field and fight for the top ten on Sunday.

“It’s a frustrating feeling not being able to start today’s Sprint,” said Alonso.  “We couldn’t switch on the car on the grid, so we moved into the pit lane and then we tried an external battery, but there were still no signs of it switching on and we had to retire.

“The problem seems to be something electrical, and we are still investigating it. Unfortunately, despite driving very competitively this year, I’ve had some bad luck too.

“Hopefully we can change round our fortune tomorrow and we’ll see what we can do in the race.”

Fernando Alonso failed to start the Sprint race in Austria – Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team
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