Ocon warns of ‘no jokers’ with shortened season

Michelle Foster
Esteban Ocon PA

Esteban Ocon says cooling issue caused Styria DNF.

Facing a shortened F1 season with 15 to 18 grands prix, Esteban Ocon feels it will be “very important” to finish every race and score points.

It is now more than six weeks since the 2020 F1 championship was scheduled to begin in Melbourne only for the race to be cancelled.

Earlier this week France became the third country to announce that its grand prix has been cancelled while seven others are on the postponed list.

Liberty Media is hoping to fit the latter onto a revised calendar that will see the season get underway in July.

F1 chief Chase Carey said earlier this week: “We’re targeting a start to racing in Europe through July, August and beginning of September, with the first race taking place in Austria on 3-5 July weekend.

“September, October and November, would see us race in Eurasia, Asia and the Americas, finishing the season in the Gulf in December with Bahrain before the traditional finale in Abu Dhabi, having completed between 15-18 races.

“We will publish our finalised calendar as soon as we possibly can.”

18 races, many feel, is a bit too optimistic.

Either way, though, the drivers are facing a shorter season whether it is 12 races or 18.

And that, Ocon says, puts the onus on them to avoid any DNFs.

“Yeah, for sure,” the Renault driver told Sky Sports News when asked if a shortened season could produce surprises.

“There’s not going to be any ‘joker’ [results], there’s no place for DNFs.

“It’s going to be very important to finish all the races, score all the points available, and get it to the finish.”

There are some concerns that if the season is too short the World Championship will lose a lot of its prestige.

Asked about that, Ocon replied: “The more we can do the better it would be for a championship but I agree that for a good 10 races or more if we can do that it would be still valid.

“There are enough races and it’s the same for everyone to determine who is the best and who’s not in the end.”

Check out this brand new video from our friends at Racing Statistics. The top 50 F1 drivers based on the percentage of podium finishes from race starts:

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