Ocon: ‘Nothing I could do’ to prevent first F1 retirement

Esteban Ocon’s record-breaking run of 27 straight finishes to start his Formula 1 career came to an end in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix after being left powerless to prevent a clash with Romain Grosjean on the opening lap of the race.

Ocon crashed out early at Interlagos after getting hit by Grosjean while trying to pass around the outside of Turn 6, sending the Force India car into the barrier at speed.

Despite Ocon’s best efforts to get the car back to the pits, the Frenchman was forced to park up and suffer his first retirement in F1, having finished every race since debuting at the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix.

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“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,” Ocon 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 [Perez].

“Days like this happen but I hope it will be another three years before it happens again.”

The retirement marked Ocon’s first retirement from a single-seater race since the 2014 Macau Formula 3 race, where he was eliminated on the opening lap in a collision.

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