BWT Alpine F1 Team’s Esteban Ocon claimed sixth place in today’s Austria Sprint with Fernando Alonso unable to start the race with a suspected electrical issue.
Esteban’s sixth place means he takes home three points from today’s Sprint and will line-up for tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix in the same spot. The team will investigate the issue on Fernando’s car ahead of the race.
Starting from fifth place, Esteban had a strong start, holding on to the same spot for the early part of the race. After edging ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s Haas, Esteban was unable to keep the charging Red Bull of Sergio Perez behind who was able to overtake on lap 11.
From there, Esteban pushed ahead to the chequered flag to claim sixth before stopping on the in-lap as a precaution, which the team is looking into.
“I am definitely very satisfied with sixth place in today’s Sprint. We had a decent start and managed to stay ahead of Kevin [Magnussen] in the first couple of laps, before building a healthy advantage over both Haas’. The Mercedes of George [Russell] was too quick for us and so, in the end, I feel we maximised today, securing a good starting position on the grid for tomorrow’s Grand Prix and also picking up some points along the way. One more lap today and it could’ve been a different story, as I was forced to stop the car at Turn 1 during the in-lap. The team are currently looking into what happened and I’m confident we can be ready for tomorrow.”
“It’s a frustrating feeling not being able to start today’s Sprint. We couldn’t switch on the car on the grid, so we moved into the pit lane and then we tried an external battery, but there were still no signs of it switching on and we had to retire. The problem seems to be something electrical, and we are still investigating it. Unfortunately, despite driving very competitively this year, I’ve had some bad luck too. Hopefully we can change round our fortune tomorrow and we’ll see what we can do in the race.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal
“Unfortunately, today’s Sprint Race did not play out to our expectations and we have not been able to capitalise on a good Qualifying performance from yesterday. While it’s a great result for Esteban to start in sixth place for tomorrow’s race, we’re disappointed not to give Fernando the opportunity to start today’s Sprint. It looks like an electrical issue on his car, which led to his A522 not firing up on the grid, in the pit lane or in the garage. We will assess the cause and also the options we have on his car ahead of tomorrow’s race. Esteban showed some good pace today and we have some useful knowledge on the tyres, which we’ll utilise to aid our strategy tomorrow. All is certainly not lost. Esteban has a great chance for some solid points tomorrow and, with Fernando, you can never say never, and I’m sure he will push hard to finish inside the top ten.”