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Otmar Szafnauer in an interview about the Ocon-Verstappen-Crash

Interview with Otmar Szafnauer
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W Here you see the accident between Verstappen and Ocon?

Szafnauer: Esteban came out of the pit lane. Max lapped us. We had the tire advantage of the fresh supersofts. Esteban was a good two laps behind Verstappen. He asked us if he could round back because he was being held up. Verstappen just had to manage the tires and drive to the finish. That's why we gave Esteban radio permission to overtake him.

Why didn't Ocon pull back after he couldn't get past on the brakes and wait until Turn 4?

Szafnauer: It's very difficult to overtake before the fourth corner. Most of the overtaking maneuvers were in the Senna-S. If Esteban had waited, it would have cost him a whole lap behind Verstappen. We couldn't afford that. We would have lost too much time. Esteban did not violate the regulations. Even the leader has to leave room when driving side by side through a curve. And in the second part of the curve, Esteban was inside. Verstappen shouldn't have just cut in. There were probably ten overtaking attempts of this kind in the race that worked because both drivers played along.

Verstappen attacked Ocon after the race. What do you think of that?

Szafnauer: That worries me. Why didn't he just let it go? There was absolutely no reason for Verstappen to fight back. Hamilton was no danger in the slower car.

Helmut Marko called Ocon an idiot. And he said that Ocon was involved in a few accidents while he was in Formula 3.

Szafnauer: Honestly? He must be kidding me. We would not have gotten into the situation at all if the pit stop had worked. We wasted five seconds. That was the only reason why Esteban got behind Verstappen at all. We still wanted to get into the points. I think that would not have worked anymore. But again: you can't just have a rule that applies only to the leader. The others are also racing.

Would Hamilton have acted differently in Verstappen's situation and backed off?

Szafnauer: How often has Hamilton won the title? Five times. Why is he five times the title holder? Because he's not only fast, but also clever. He drives with his head. How often was Vettel world champion? Four times. Because he's not just fastbut is also clever. And how many does Verstappen have so far?


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