Esteban Ocon was a direct witness to the accident between Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll at the last United States Grand Prix. The French driver was riding at the wheel of the two men involved, and had to use his skills to avoid the Canadian’s Aston Martin .
Fernando Alonso was able to continue in the race, although he eventually ended up losing one of his mirrors . The FIA sanctioned him, once the race was over, with a 30-second penalty; something that Alpine resorted to, and after several ups and downs by the federation, ended up returning seventh place to the Asturian.
That was the topic of the day last Thursday at the Hermanos Rodríguez Autodrome, where the Mexican Grand Prix is being held this weekend. And, how could it be otherwise, Ocon, Alonso’s teammate in Alpine, had to answer several questions regarding the incident.
“First of all, I have a lot of respect for Fernando and the race he did [at Austin]. It was beyond impressive. But I’m not surprised, coming from him; his performances are always excellent in races like that,” Ocon said. Esteban commented on Alonso’s “hard landing”. “The adrenaline is skyrocketing, and it was amazing to see how he was able to calm down.
Regarding the penalty and its confusing resource, Ocon declared that in Alpine they cannot afford to “lose more points”. “We are in a very close fight with McLaren […]”, he commented, before knowing that, finally, Fernando recovered the six points.
The Frenchman was especially impressed with the blow that the #14 took, reaching “42G on landing”. “He must have been out of breath. But he’s here, he’s fine, and he’s fit to run. That’s the most important thing, that nothing really bad happened.
The problem with Alonso’s rear-view mirror came after Kevin Magnussen was called to the pits by the stewards to change one of his parts at other times in the season, which led to Haas’s complaint to Alpine for not having done the same.
“There were times [throughout the season] where Kevin was in front of me and I just thought, ‘He’s about to lose that, he’s about to go flying into my car.’ And Kevin had to stop. So, I don’t know. I can’t comment on the whole situation.”
“If a piece goes flying like that, it can damage the car of those coming from behind. In fact, Lando collided with several pieces of debris, and that is something that is inadmissible. It may be that nothing happens, that it goes flying and does not hit you , but if a rule applies, it should always be the same,” he explained.
“I don’t know. In the end, I’ve never had a big chunk of carbon fly right into my helmet, so I can’t really say what it would do. If you ask Felipe [Massa], he’d probably tell you it’s a reason to pit. For him it was a spring, so it’s completely different, but I think it’s the FIA and not us who should decide what’s best for safety.”
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