Yesterday’s Formula 1 race was indeed remarkable, but some drivers rue the lost opportunities that presented the midfield runners, including Renaults Esteban Ocon.
Could this be seen as a form of envy on the part of Esteban Ocon towards Pierre Gasly? Probably, and who can blame him?
Three French drivers lined up on the grid, all wishing to succeed Olivier Panis, 24 years later. But fate decided to reward Pierre Gasly. And so the Renault team may have missed an opportunity that will not necessarily happen again, this season at least.
Teams had the opportunity to climb on the podium and even win the race during this freak race. So when you’re called Renault and you represent – in theory – the third strongest team on the grid (certainly on fast circuits), and the Mercedes and Red Bulls are out of the running… it hurts.
Something of which the French driver was conscious of following the end of the Grand-Prix d’Italie, from where a complicated exchange with his engineer, who tried in vain to silence Esteban, occurred:
Mark Slade: “OK Esteban, fantastic job, fantastic job. Well done my boy, 8th after starting 12th, it’s not bad at all. Daniel 6th. Again good points for the team. Well done, buddy. ”
Esteban Ocon: “Yeah, got it. I don’t agree, I think we completely missed this race. There was a huge opportunity… ”
MS: “Okay, please don’t say anything on the radio. Please don’t say anything. We’ll talk about it in the office, thank you. ”
EO: “No, we have to face up to it… ”
MS: “Please! Don’t talk…”
Cyril Abiteboul: “Esteban, this is not the place! ”
EO: “OK, got it. ”