Esteban Ocon sharply criticizes race director Niels Wittich

( – FIA race director Niels Wittich is getting more and more criticism in Miami. After another big discussion about the jewelery ban and the right underwear this weekend – including creative signs of protest from Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel – Michael Masi’s sequel is due on Saturday due to another topic in the column.

Esteban Ocon hit the same wall as Carlos Sainz


It’s (again) about security. This time, however, the drivers are pushing for improvements, specifically in turn 14. Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz flew down there on Friday and hit the concrete wall quite roughly. There were complaints to the race management because there was no TecPro barrier at this time.

“Carlos said the impact was much greater than it should be,” says Esteban Ocon. But nothing happened overnight. But something happened to the Frenchman last Saturday: He flew away to exactly the same place – and also into the bare concrete wall.

Ocon: The hardest accident of my career

For Ocon, the workday was over despite an allegedly small lathe. Because the collision with 51g damaged the chassis so violently that the alpine driver was unable to start in qualifying. In addition, the Frenchman was slightly injured in the knee.

“If there had been TecPro barriers there, the chassis would probably have been fine,” he says angrily, considering the impact of the 51g to be “unacceptable”, as he says. “It should not have been so harsh an impact.”

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

What annoys him: It may happen that a car hits an unexpected place, but he can not understand that nothing was done after Sainz’s comments. “Minimum would be if you 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 of the FIA’s current actions does not match. “When they admonished me about the jewelry, they said safety is everything,” Lewis Hamilton wonders, but at least shows understanding for safety on the pitch: “You can not predict in every corner where you need TecPro”, he says .

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

The question is whether the FIA ​​could have responded at short notice and installed a TecPro barrier on site. “I see no reason why there should not be one,” Bottas says, and Lance Stroll agrees: “No one wants to run against a concrete wall, no matter the speed. It’s ridiculous.”

“In all fairness to the FIA, I do not think they could have done anything,” Sergio Perez said. “But we talked about it and were surprised by Carlos’ g-forces. It was a real accident and we do not want to see anything similar happen again. We will be extra careful in the future to avoid such serious accidents.” “

Vettel: Should have safer walls everywhere

Sebastian Vettel, who also sees no solution in the short term, but calls for improvements for the coming year, also hits the spot: “We should also have safer walls along the straight lines instead of the concrete blocks. Especially if we still have track designs that walking around straights built on that you can not see anything, “says the Aston Martin driver.

“You do not even have to leave. Tire damage can also occur, which is not your fault. In any case, it is always nice to hit the ground softer than harder.”

In retrospect, the Esteban Ocon is of no use for the whole discussion. He starts Sunday’s race from behind with the stewards’ permission and faces a difficult Grand Prix. “It’s frustrating not being able to qualify. I have to apologize to the team, too much was possible,” he says.

He takes the mistake on his cap. In his opinion, however, the result could and should have been mitigated by the FIA.

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