Among the various controversies that emerged after the Italian Grand Prix, in addition to those arising from the accident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, there was no lack of those inherent to the decisions taken by the Race Direction for other episodes. There Variant of the Canal it was in fact the scene of two maneuvers that cost five seconds penalty to Sergio Perez (for not giving back the position to Charles Leclerc after having cut the chicane) and to Esteban Ocon.
The Alpine Frenchman was found guilty of too aggressive a maneuver against Sebastian Vettel on lap 15, with the German forced to put the wheels beyond the track limit to avoid a collision between the two cars. Among other things, the winner of the Hungarian GP also had to serve another penalty, linked however to the “simple” obligation to sell the position to Nicholas Latifi following an illegitimate overtaking against the Canadian Williams.
At the end of the Monza stage, Ocon expressed all his disappointment at these decisions, focusing in particular on the sanction imposed after the wheel to wheel with Vettel: “A final seventh or sixth position would have been possible – said the French a The Race.com – I’m frustrated with the two penalties. That with Sebastian was a race situation, not an accident. The same thing happened between Leclerc and Hamilton in 2019, and in that case there was nothing. There was no damage, but despite that I lost three places. We were side by side, very close – he added – but I didn’t swerve, I just tightened where you come to braking. That’s exactly what happened between Lewis and Charles. Usually I do not criticize the decisions of the Stewards, but this time I disagree ”.
Indeed, the episode between Ocon and Vettel recalled the battle that took place two years ago between the Mercedes driver and the Ferrari driver, who then went on to triumph in the team’s home race. In that circumstance, the Management exposed the black-white flag at the address of the Monegasque, without however proceeding with a time penalty. The same Michael Masi, questioned about that episode, he wanted to clarify what was established together with the pilots in a meeting: “In 2019 – recalled the Clerk of the Course – there was a meeting with all the stewards, drivers and team principals to discuss the Leclerc-Hamilton case. It was decided that, in a similar situation, from that moment on it would be more correct to decree a penalty of 5 seconds, with the latter replacing the black-white flag ”.
Regarding these decisions, dating back to a period in which Ocon was engaged in the role of third driver of McLaren, the Frenchman replied with a short and decisive statement: “I do not remember – He admitted – It’s been two years since then, so I can’t know what was said in a meeting between riders at a time when I wasn’t involved in the World Championship ”.
FP | Alessandro Prada
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