Esteban Ocon admits that he knew his first race retirement in Formula 1 would come at some stage. Last Sunday, the Frenchman took his first career DNF after he collided with compatriot Romain Grosjean on the first lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The two were going side by side as they headed into Turn 6, but Grosjean lost control of his car and took Ocon out of the race. It later emerged that Grosjean had a puncture, but the stewards handed him a ten-second stop-go penalty for the incident.
It is only this second time this season that Ocon has failed to score inside the points, and his first single seter retirement since 2014. Speaking after the race, Ocon was quick to pin the blame on Grosjean, and hopes it is another three years before he retires again.
"I’m not happy to retire from the race. I knew this day would come at some stage, but I wasn’t expecting it to be today," he said. "It’s a shame because it has been three years since my last retirement in single-seaters. There was nothing I could do; Romain lost the car in turn six and crashed into me.
"He made a mistake and I suffered from it, my front wheel rim was damaged so I couldn’t even drive back to the pits. It’s frustrating because the car was quick and we had the pace to be fighting up there with Checo. Days like this happen but I hope it will be another three years before it happens again."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing