Esteban Ocon endured a weekend at Austria he would like to forget

Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2023
Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2023

In the pantheon of racing greats, we will cherish- as we have always- the likes of Senna, Fangio, Schumacher, Lauda, Ascari, Hill, Moss, Villeneuve, Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton. They are the greats. And will stay that way. No one is going to challenge their authority. 

But what about the standing of the young drivers in the hugely arresting and one-of-a-kind sport, arguably, the toughest and most lethal that there is?

Truth be told, perhaps it won’t be incorrect to suggest that where the likes of the contemporary generation is concerned, a line-up in whose hands rests the mighty challenge of essaying the next chapter of Formula 1- then we solely focus on the troika of Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Lando Norris. 

And with much due regard to each of these amazing talents, who are clearly sharpening the current contours of a sport we so love, perhaps somewhere we forget to consider Esteban Ocon. 


An underrated career

He’s already been a race winner and at the challenging Hungaroring, no less. He’s partnered – and defeated- Fernando Alonso of all drivers at Alpine. Besides the 2023 Monaco podium, this is the finest achievement of Ocon’s career so far and he also seems to be getting the measure of compatriot Gasly. 

Memorable Monaco Podium For Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team celebrates his third position on the podium. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday 28th May 2023. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

The driver who is currently in his third season with the Alpine team has, thus far, been an apostle of consistency. Surely, his best days are ahead of him and hopefully with a more powerful car at his disposal he can perhaps turn around a huge corner in his Grand Prix journey. 

Although, the driver who entered the recently concluded Austrian Grand Prix at the back of three consecutive performances wherein he beat teammate Pierre Gasly actually endured a race to forget. 


Esteban Ocon endured a weekend at Austria he would like to forget

The weekend at the circuit that bears the name of the Red Bull team had little going the Alpine’s way; the machine driven by the able Frenchman. And while surely the driver who captured two vital P8 results at the Spanish and the Canadian races was just left licking his wounds. 

But how so? 

It’s not just the fact that Ocon ended up fourteenth on the grid, it’s the very abominable discomfort of having received the most number of penalties he’s ever had in a single race that made the Spielberg contest a disconcerting one for the Alpine driver. 

Having no fewer than 30 seconds added to his overall time as a result of exceeding the track limits for not less than four separate occasions, Esteban Ocon was the worst hit among all drivers that were strangled by the FIA enforced penalties at Austria. 

Moreover, there’s more and doesn’t end with this. 

In the words of Racing News 365:

“In addition, the Frenchman also received a penalty for an unsafe release, meaning he has broken his record of three penalties in a Grand Prix from this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.”

For now, Ocon would like to go beyond the ordinary or listless weekend he’s had. After all, there’s not much time left before F1 arrives at Silverstone, which will be a great new albeit refreshing challenge for the twenty men on the grid. 

This article was written by Dev Tyagi for F1 Chronicle.

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