Esteban Ocon revealed a catalogue of issues had ruined his Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and forced his retirement – a third DNF in the last five races.
That meant Ocon could at least find some solace in the fact Renault are up to third position in an increasingly tight battle to be ‘best of the rest’ behind Mercedes and Red Bull in the constructors’ World Championship having leapfrogged McLaren and Racing Point, with only one point now separating the trio.
Ocon, after encountering a variety of niggles, eventually pulled over to the side of the Imola track and parked up on lap 29, prompting a Virtual Safety Car period which played into the hands of eventual winner Lewis Hamilton.
“Tough weekend overall,” said Ocon, who had started in P12 on the grid and was involved in a collision with Lance Stroll on the opening lap which left the Racing Point driver with damage to the front wing of his car.
“I think just a few bad luck issues after not a great quali yesterday and today we had plenty of technical problems.
“Just bad luck on the first one, we had a tear-off in the brake duct, then a clutch issue and in the end the drive-shaft broke, so quite a few things went wrong today.”
“It was a tough weekend overall, with a succession of bad luck this weekend. We are third in the championship now; we knew this is what we are fighting for so it’s good to be ending the weekend like this.” @OconEsteban
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) November 1, 2020
Although Ocon played the team game in stating how pleased he was about the progress made in the constructors’ standings, he also insisted he knew his own results need to improve in what has been an underwhelming first season with the team.
It was also a weekend when Ocon’s 2021 team-mate, Fernando Alonso, was on site at Imola for the first couple of days, with Ricciardo moving to McLaren for next season.
“I’m very happy that Daniel got a podium again,” said Ocon, whose best result this year has been fifth at the Belgian Grand Prix.
“It’s great to see that we are coming in force as a team and that’s very positive. Obviously now we have to do it on my side, but that’s coming.
“I’m very pleased because we are third now – that’s what we were fighting for and it’s good to end the weekend third.”