Esteban Ocon reckons ‘Deadpool’ energy helped him in recovery from Saturday to Sunday in F1 Las Vegas GP, as he adds on radio call.
It wasn’t a sound Saturday for Alpine’s Ocon as he had a run-in with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and was eventually knocked out in Q1. In contrast, his teammate Pierre Gasly made it in Q3 and qualified in the Top 5 to start from fourth.
They both made good starts and were tied together in the early part with Ocon jumping nearly 10 places inside the Top 10. The safety car eventually came at the right time for him as he gained track position to be in the Top 5 in the latter stages.
A pit stop for McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and a penalty to Mercedes’ George Russell eventually helped Ocon to end up in fourth even though the latter passed him on track for fourth. The recovery from Saturday to Sunday was remarkable on a difficult circuit for Alpine.
Ocon wore a special Deadpool helmet which the Frenchman reckons gave him some power to lighten the mood. On a serious note, he noted about less graining on his end which helped him somewhere while others faced some sort of graining.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Ocon. “I’m again alive, you know, after qualifying… We were injured but the healing power of the Deadpool helmet made the difference in the race. It definitely was a crazy race. We stayed away from the graining, from the degradation that everyone had and managed to come back from P16 to P4.
“It just feels awesome. Never stop believing. We knew that this weekend was very strong for us, in terms of just achieving things, getting the car where we wanted. We’ve been super-strong on tyres this weekend. Unfortunately, we saw what happened and that’s why we didn’t qualify so well.
“This track is very good for overtaking, we knew we could use our pace in a straight line to get by and that’s what we’ve done. So, super proud of the team, what they’ve done this weekend was extraordinary, in qualifying and in the race, so we can be proud of ourselves. It’s been… five to six races, since Singapore really, that the planets didn’t align for us.”
“And this race, finally things turned around and we managed to score an awesome result. I hope we can keep going like that until the end of the season, finish in Abu Dhabi on a high, and if we can do so it would be a good end of the season,” summed up Ocon, who also clarified the team radio call where he was asked to ‘hold position’ when behind Gasly.
But the radio came at a time when he was passing him which was the right call anyhow. Ocon, though, noted that he didn’t get the message clearly. “It was good, I mean, I think Pierre was on older tyres at the time,” he said. “You know, I got told ‘hold position’, but at the time I didn’t know it was hold position.
“The only thing I heard was ‘position’ because I was basically making the move while I got told. Obviously, if the team had asked for me to give back the position, I would have done so straight away,” summed up Ocon, as Gasly suffered graining on his side to eventually finish outside the points where safety car did hurt him to be on the older tyres.
Here’s how F1 Las Vegas GP panned out
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