Radio confusion leads to grid penalty for Ocon

Date published: October 6 2018

Esteban Ocon has been given a three-place grid penalty ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix for failing to slow sufficiently for red flags.

The Force India driver had reduced his speed below the delta time but was then confused by some beeps he heard over the radio.

“The driver informed the stewards, and the telemetry showed, that he had slowed down for the red flags,” the stewards noted.

“However, after Turn 4, he heard some beeps on his radio that suggested that he was too slow and sped up briefly to regularize his speed. 

“In doing so, he briefly exceeded the delta by a maximum of -1.68 over three mini sectors.

“As a result, he had failed to maintain the speed delta required under the regulations resulting in an infringement.

“He acknowledged the infringement and attributed it to the confusion caused by the beeps and the system currently being used by the team in such situations.

“In the end, given the importance of observance of the speed restrictions while red flags are being shown and recognising the limited extent of the breach, we decided to impose the above penalty.”

Ocon was given two penalty points on his licence, the first points he has received for the current 12-month period.

The Frenchman will now line up in P11, but will still have to start on the tyres he used in Q2, as he made the top ten shootout.

Sebastian Vettel will now start P8, with Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc also moving ahead of Ocon on the grid.

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