Ocon: Renault F1 team-mate Ricciardo "blessed" with strong 2020 season

Esteban Ocon says that his Renault Formula 1 team mate Daniel Ricciardo has been "blessed" in 2020 after losing out to the Australian once again in qualifying in Bahrain

Ocon: Renault F1 team-mate Ricciardo "blessed" with strong 2020 season

Ricciardo has had the upper hand on one-lap pace all season, and at Sakhir he edged out Ocon by just 0.002s as the pair earned sixth and seventh places on the grid.

Ocon had been ahead after the first round of laps in Q3, but ultimately fell behind after Ricciardo's final run.

The French driver has only outqualified Ricciardo once in 2020, at July's Styrian Grand Prix.

"He is blessed, obviously he had a very good year, a very strong year," Ocon said of Ricciardo.

"He was faster than me most of the season, but when we came close, it's always in his favour. It's up to me to change that for the next two.

"[It was] a good session I think overall, very well managed by the team. We managed to get through Q1 with only one set, which was the target, and we've done it.

"Then qualifying on the medium was also something not easy, it's never an easy thing to change compounds between sessions. But we made it work in only one run, because of the red flag.

"So that was also nice, and in Q3, the car was working very well. And I was pretty happy with the balance, and I was feeling comfortable. It's a track that I really enjoy to drive. So I took pleasure today, it was great fun."

Despite being ahead once again Ricciardo suggested that the gap should have been bigger, and says he let Ocon "get too close".

The McLaren-bound Ricciardo has outscored Ocon considerably in 2020, with 96 points to the latter's 40, and the Bahrain margin in qualifying is the closest that the two have been on a Saturday.

"I mean, it all counts," he said. "When I see that, I'm obviously I'm glad to be on that end of it. But the competitor in me says, it's not enough, I let him get too close.

"I just watched Esteban's lap on the onboard, and he did a really strong last lap. So it was clean, and it definitely looked like one of his good ones this year.

"And I think also, any margin, at the end of the day, it's a grid spot. And that's three or four extra metres that I'm closer to Turn One.

"So, obviously in the battle with [Sergio] Perez, in the drivers' and constructors', I'm definitely happy to have been two-thousands quicker today."

Ricciardo, who lost fifth place to Perez right at the end of Q3, added that it had been a good day for Renault as two of its competitors had fallen by the wayside in Q2.

"Certainly from a team point of view, we're pretty happy," he said.

"Mr Perez is still in front, but otherwise, we are sixth and seventh, and poised to go well. Carlos [Sainz Jr] I guess had a mechanical issue, and Lance [Stroll] was out.

"So I think Perez is really our guy, but everyone else seems to be a bit further back. So we're in a good spot. Not a bad day, pretty stoked with that one."

shares
comments
Kvyat assessing "interesting options" for 2021
Previous article

Kvyat assessing "interesting options" for 2021

Next article

F1 drivers' 2021 Pirelli tyre concerns not just about performance

F1 drivers' 2021 Pirelli tyre concerns not just about performance
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Plus

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022