Esteban Ocon slams race director Nils Wittich

( – FIA Racing Director Nils Wittich is receiving more and more criticism in Miami. After another big discussion about the ban on appropriate jewelry and underwear this weekend – including creative protest signs from Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel – Michael Masi succeeded on Saturday over a different topic on the podium.

Esteban Ocon hits the same wall as Carlos Sainz


It’s (again) about safety. This time, however, the drivers are pushing for improvements, namely their turn 14. Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz flew there on Friday and nearly hit the concrete wall. Complaints were followed up to the race management because there was no TecPro barrier at this point.

“Carlos said the impact was too much,” Esteban Ocon says. But nothing happened overnight. But something happened to the Frenchman on Saturday: he flew in exactly the same place – and also to the bare concrete wall.

Ocon: The hardest accident of my career

For Ocon, the work day is over despite a supposedly small lathe. Because the 51g crash damaged the chassis so badly that the alpine driver was not able to start qualifying. In addition, the Frenchman received a slight knee injury.

“If there were TecPro rails in there, the chassis would probably be fine,” he says angrily and considers the 51g impact “unacceptable,” he said. “It shouldn’t have been such a hard effect.”

Ocon even talks about “the hardest accident of my career” and criticizes: “Yesterday Carlos hurt himself, today I hurt myself. The FIA ​​should take care of our safety.”

What upsets him: A car can crash into an unexpected place, but he doesn’t understand that nothing has been done after Sainz’s comments. “The bottom line is to take that into account and then do your best to change something.”

When it comes to jewelry, safety is important…

For many drivers, the passivity after the current procedures of the FIA ​​is mismatched. “When they warned me about jewellery, they said safety is everything,” asks Lewis Hamilton, but at least he showed an understanding of safety on the track: “You can’t anticipate in every corner you need a TecPro,” he says.

“But after this weekend we know this is an area we can improve on,” said the Mercedes driver. “But it’s all part of the learning process.”

The question is whether the FIA ​​responded in a short time and installed the TecPro barrier on site. “I see no reason why there isn’t,” Bottas says, and Lance Stroll agrees: “Nobody wants to drive against a concrete wall, no matter the speeds. That’s ridiculous.”

“In fairness to the FIA, I don’t think they could have done anything,” said Sergio Perez. “But we talked about it and were surprised by Carlos’ powers. It was a real accident and we don’t want to see anything like this happen again. We want to be more careful in the future to avoid such serious incidents.”

Vettel: We must have safer walls everywhere

Sebastian Vettel, who also does not see a solution in the short term, but is calling for improvements for next year, also hits the target: “We should also have safer walls along the strait instead of concrete blocks. Especially if we continue to maintain the track,” says the Aston driver. Martin: “Designs that are built around straits that you can’t see anything on.”

“You don’t even have to take off. Tire damage can happen too, and it’s not your fault. In any case, it’s always better to hit the ground softer than hard.”

In hindsight, Esteban Ocon is of no use to the entire discussion. Sunday’s race will start from the back with permission from the hosts and face a tough Grand Prix. “It’s frustrating not being able to qualify,” he says. “I have to apologize to the team because so much was possible.”

He takes the error in his hat. However, in his opinion, the result could and should have been mitigated by the FIA.

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