“I cried in the parking lot,” Esteban Ocon following testing snub at Mercedes

Esteban Ocon thinks back on the testing times he has had to face in his life

Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon won his first race amidst unprecedented situations at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, where chaos erupted at the start of the race. He beat out Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, with some help from his teammate, Fernando Alonso. Ocon finished that season at 11th, 7 points behind Alonso.

This season, Ocon is currently running at 9th, with points finishes in all the races except Imola, at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. His teammate, Fernando Alonso is currently running 15th with 2 points, but in all fairness has suffered from two retirements at Jeddah and Imola, and all-around a slight lack of fortune. One would consider that this has been a good season for Ocon up till now. His near-future also looks fairly certain, with his contract running till (at least) the end of 2024.

But a few years ago, things weren’t looking so great. In his recent appearance in the Beyond the Grid podcast, Ocon recalled one particular occurrence in a darker period of his career.

When the Force India-F1 team was purchased mid-way through 2018, amid accusations of financial fraud towards founder Vijay Mallya, the team was transformed into Racing Point, and the ownership was transferred (primarily) to Lawrence Stroll. The team parted ways with Ocon at the end of 2018, making way for Lance Stroll.

Also Read: Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon hailed as classic teacher-student dynamic

Esteban Ocon’s tenure at Mercedes

ocon - FirstSportz
Esteban Ocon

After parting ways with Racing Point, the Frenchman was signed on as a reserve driver by Mercedes for the 2019 F1 Season. One of his lowest moments came at the start of the 2019 season, in Australia.

I think I will remember that one from Australia. I got there at the first race in 2019, and we were supposed to have quite a big test program; I was supposed to drive the car quite a bit, and when I got to Australia, I got told I was not going to drive the car for the next six months.”

Understandably, this did not go down well with Esteban Ocon, who described it as quite a ‘big hit’.

That was quite a big hit and I remember leaving the Melbourne track, going to the rental car and I cried in the parking lot. So it was definitely a lot of low moments… I don’t have much problem to sleep, but I remember that night, that was not the best sleep.”

Ocon did not take part in a Grand Prix weekend for the rest of that year. However, it was eventually at Mercedes where Ocon returned to the map as a driver, and for 2020 he was signed on at Renault, who are now known as Alpine.

On to current events, Ocon’s last racing weekend at Miami did not start well, with him being involved in a 51G Crash, at almost the same place where Carlos Sainz also crashed earlier. He did not participate in qualifying due to the damage to the chassis from his crash. However, his weekend certainly ended well, with him in 8th place.

Also Read: “We need to put it all together,” Alpine to push more to get things going for Fernando Alonso

Also Read: Report: Oscar Piastri’s future hangs in the balance at both Alpine and Williams