Esteban Ocon wants no repeat of ‘scary moment’ in pit lane in Baku

Henry Valantine
Esteban Ocon wearing an Alpine hat. Bahrain. March 2023

Esteban Ocon wearing an Alpine hat.

Esteban Ocon said it was a “scary moment” coming into the pit lane during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, only to find people in the fast lane as he came to change tyres.

Ocon started the race from the pit lane on hard tyres and looked to run as far into the race as possible, he and Alpine hoping for a Safety Car or a way of having a ‘cheap’ pit stop as the race progressed, allowing him to lose less time while changing tyres.

But while an early Safety Car helped drivers switching onto hard tyres, the same did not go the other way around, with Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg staying out until late in the race.

So late, in fact, the post-race procedures were being set up in the pit lane before Ocon pitted on the penultimate lap of the race, and several photographers and staff members were running across the fast lane of the pit lane while the Alpine driver slammed on the brakes to get down to the speed limit.

It was an unnecessarily close call and a risk to safety for Ocon and those involved in the pit lane, and the FIA have subsequently opened an investigation into how such a thing occurred while the race was still ongoing.

The Alpine driver eventually finished towards the back after his and the team’s ambitious strategy did not pay off, but that was secondary in his thoughts after what was a “scary moment” for him on Sunday. recommends

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“It was all or nothing today… I really gave it everything but it didn’t go our way,” Ocon wrote on Twitter.

“Scary moment at the end there in the pit-lane. Glad no one was hurt but we must ensure things like that don’t happen again.

“A tough weekend of learning and we have a chance to put things right next week. Thanks for the hard work @AlpineF1Team and to all of you for the support. See you in Miami.”

The FIA confirmed that track representatives responsible for parc ferme were summoned to the stewards in Baku in the aftermath of the incident, and acknowledged that a “very dangerous situation” had occurred when Ocon came in for his pit stop on Sunday.

“We considered that it was fortunate that there were no serious consequences on account of what happened today,” The stewards wrote in their verdict.

“We stressed that the requirements of ensuring a safe and orderly event are paramount. This was acknowledged by the FIA team.

“The FIA representatives expressed their regret at what happened and assured us that they would do so in time for the next event.”