Ocon accepts apology after ‘French f***’ remark

Mark Scott
Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon to drive Alpine A110S in Monte Carlo rally.

Esteban Ocon has accepted an apology from Ziggo Sport’s Jack Plooij after being called a “French f***” on live television.

The Dutch presenter made the remark when interviewing McLaren’s Lando Norris at the Belgian Grand Prix, clearly still not over the Interlagos incident in 2018 when backmarker Ocon collided with race leader Max Verstappen when trying to unlap himself.

Norris was caught a little off guard by the comment.

Plooij was criticised for a lack of professionalism and respect, with some urging Renault not to conduct one-on-one interviews with Ziggo Sport in future.

It is something Renault has done before having prevented them one-on-one access to Daniel Ricciardo at one stage as they reportedly wanted to ask the Aussie if Verstappen was better than him.

But, back to the Ocon remark, Plooij had noticed the reaction and made the following statement on social media.

“There was commotion about my question to Lando Norris about Esteban Ocon. Both are top athletes and I never have the intention to harm or abuse anybody. Apologies!” he said.

Ocon responded: “Apologies accepted mate!”

Looking ahead to the Italian Grand Prix, Ocon is excited about what Renault can achieve at another power-hungry track after the team’s P4/P5 finish at Spa.

“That fifth place was ours, so I’m very happy to secure it on the last lap,” Ocon said.

“It’s fantastic for the team to have fourth and fifth.

“It’s been a strong weekend, the car’s been quick, we turned a very difficult weekend like Barcelona into a very very positive one here.

“So massive improvement, we’re very happy and very pleased with that.

“It smells good as well because next week we have a track with the same characteristics, even more extreme, so should be at our ease as well. So we’re going to try and do the same or even better.

“We are excited to go to Monza for sure!”

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