Esteban Ocon laments ‘unfortunate’ Qatar GP Sprint Race crash

Ocon crashed out of the Qatar Sprint Race after a collision with Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.

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Alpine driver Esteban Ocon has said his crash with the Red Bull of Sergio Perez and Haas’s Nico Hulkenberg during the 2023 Qatar Sprint Race which caused the Frenchman to crash out of the race entirely was “unfortunate”.

During the closing stages of the sprint race, Ocon and Hulkenberg, going to wheel to wheel, caused Perez, flying up the inside, to come into contact with Ocon himself, with both drivers forced to retire their respective cars, ending any chance of a decent result.

“We started very well you know, made up some good places and good fights. But, unfortunately yeah, we were dropping back,” Ocon said to the media, reflecting on the difficult afternoon.

“And we’re more on the defensive side than the attacking side. And you know, we have that incident obviously, when we were three abreast. The next thing I see when I open my eyes and stuff, I mean, I’m in the gravel.

“So yeah, an unfortunate incident, but I’m sure tomorrow, we can catch back with learning that we have a strategy.”

Verstappen’s dominance an inspiration

Ocon also gave his thoughts on Max Verstappen, who clinched his third world title in a row after finishing second in the Sprint.

Ocon shared his thoughts on just how inspirational it has been for other teams, despite the complete dominance of the reigning world champion.

“I’m going to start by congratulating Max, his season and the way he’s been dominating. It’s a big inspiration I think for us drivers and for the teams as well, because what he’s been doing with Red Bull is simply impressive,” Ocon said.

“I’ve been racing against him my whole life. And it’s been a privilege to share the track with him, especially when you see how good they are doing at the moment. So, it’s something that we should all get inspired from.”

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