Esteban Ocon put in a remarkable performance at the Japanese Grand Prix with a fourth place. The Alpine F1 driver is delighted with this result, allowing his team to take fourth place from McLaren among manufacturers.
“It was good, it was a very good race and a very good weekend. We kept the Mercedes behind us, it was a sprint race and we couldn’t have done it if it had been a full race.” said Ocon. “But I’m super happy I did it and with the result we scored a lot of points and that’s what we needed, it’s perfect.”
The Frenchman supports the race director’s decisions on interruption and restart in relation to track conditions: “Clearly we didn’t see anything during the formation lap, the first lap was dangerous.”
“We could barely see the crane that was on the track, so it was the right decision to stop. When we left it was better to drive. The FIA made the right decision, even if it was a long time, and we were able to do a few laps.”
Ocon also congratulated Max Verstappen on his world title: “Thumbs up, he’s been at the top of his game this year, he’s been very fast. For me, when he starts from the back of the grid, he comes up and wins, those are exceptional races, he deserves it Real. “
Alonso: ‘A strange weekend’ finished in seventh place
Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, finished seventh after passing Sebastian Vettel nearly 11 thousandths of a second on the line. The two-time world champion says it was a weird weekend at Suzuka.
“The whole weekend was a bit strange, so the race was no exception” said Alonso. “Everyone started with the maxi rain tires. We lost positions by stopping one lap later to put in the intermediate tires and later we made a second pit stop with six laps to go.”
“I was probably one or two laps away from an extra position. At the end we didn’t know if it was the last lap of the race, they didn’t tell us until the last corner and I know it’s the same for everyone but It was a bit of a chaotic situation.”
“I think it was also a tough Sunday for the FIA. Max is now world champion. It took them 20 minutes to figure that out and I think that sums up the day pretty well.”
The Spaniard is annoyed by the mistake of the race management, who sent a crane onto the track, endangering the drivers and especially Pierre Gasly: “We need to talk to the FIA because after what happened here with Jules in 2014, the whole system has changed so that situations like this never happen again.
“It doesn’t matter if there is a safety car or a red flag, the crane can’t get on track until all the cars have entered the pit lane. We will try to help the FIA and understand what happened, who gave the order, because it’s hard to judge at the moment.”