Formula 1 Racing

Ocon met with FIA over Bahrain F1 penalties

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Ocon was eventually withdrawn from the 2023 season-opening round in Bahrain with 16 of the 57 laps to go, the ninth-starting French driver having wound up running in a distant 17th place.

This came as a legacy of a copping a litany of penalties, triggered by Ocon pulling up in his grid box with his front-right tyre over the painted lines to earn a five-second penalty.

However, when this was supposed to be served at his pitstop, a timing error from his Alpine crew meant they began working on his car after only 4.6s. This was met with a further 10s penalty.

Then, leaving the pits, Ocon exceeded the 80km/h speed limit by 0.1km/h to earn a final 5s penalty.

Ocon has since revealed he held a meeting with the FIA to discuss the infringements and that his Alpine team have implemented procedural changes to avoid a repeat of their errors this weekend in Saudi Arabia.

After qualifying sixth on the Jeddah street circuit, Ocon said his goal for the race was to “stay out of everything that happened to us [in Bahrain], have a good one operationally and hopefully come back with two cars in the points.”

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Asked by Autosport if there had been a thorough internal assessment of the torrid run of events in Bahrain, Ocon revealed his meeting with the FIA governing body.

He said: “Definitely. It was important to understand.

“I had a meeting with the FIA, I discussed with the team. It is definitely clear. It can seem silly that I was too much to the right and it’s easy to fix.

“But from where we are sitting [low down in the car], I tell you, it’s not. Basically, you can’t see anything from where you’re sitting.

“So, it’s something that I will have to deal with. Hopefully it won’t come back.”

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Ocon added that bar avoiding the driver error of parking up on the grid in the incorrect position, procedural changes had been made to combat the speeding and pitstop blunders.

He said: “We reviewed the procedure on stopping for the penalty, we reviewed the speed limit that was exceeded.

“We’re going to change things on there. It’s all about changing the margins that you’re taking, basically just practice.”

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