Esteban Ocon was penalised by the stewards following contact with Sir Lewis Hamilton during Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was left wondering what had happened between last year and this season that prompted the stewards to penalise him for an event that they would not have penalised in 2021.
During the early wet phases of the Monaco Grand Prix, Ocon was fighting hard with Sir Lewis Hamilton, and they collided at Sainte-Devote when the 37-year-old tried to move inside.
As they converged on the apex of the corner, the stewards determined that the Frenchman had moved across needlessly, and he was handed a five-second penalty.
The 25-year-old was subsequently caught in the traffci caused by teammate Fernando Alonso, and after failing to find a way past the seven-time champion, he crossed the line in ninth place, but this was changed to 12th when his penalty was enforced.
“They can’t take the result away like that, this is favouritism. Crash into me or get the penalty, what is this… we can’t see in the mirrors here!” exclaimed Ocon who was livid on team radio after the race.
In the post race press conference, Ocon was upset as he sought to understand why he had been penalised for what he perceived to be a racing incident.
“I think we did everything right in general,” he told Sky Sports. “We were racing well until we got that five-second penalty which is not really justified unfortunately.”
“So yeah, [I’m] very frustrated with that because it ruined our result of today’s race but that’s how it is.”
“I went to review [the incident] with the stewards and they said if this was last year it could have been a racing incident so I don’t know what really has changed this year.”
He went on to say that he was “not sure” why he was penalised by race control, and that the collision had no negative impact on anyone’s race.
“If you want to overtake in Monaco there has to be some kind of contact because there’s no space to do so, so Lewis was quicker behind with the other tyres,” explained Ocon.
“We are racing hard, for sure, but we are racing for position, and we are racing at the end again so today it was fair racing.”
“A bit of contact for sure but we didn’t suffer any of us so it is very disappointing and I’m pretty frustrated.”
Alonso is now 13th in the Drivers’ Standings, one point behind Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda, who both failed to gain points last weekend.