Abiteboul: Ocon’s 2020 situation ‘not a disaster’

Renault Formula 1 boss Cyril Abiteboul has cautioned Esteban Ocon to be patient and insists his current situation is “not a disaster”.

The French driver currently lies 12th in the world championship on 36 points, while his teammate Daniel Ricciardo is in fourth place on 78.

Ocon has been hampered by reliability issues in three races, most recently a hydraulic problem that stopped him in the Eifel GP, and which have cost him points.

However he has struggled to match Ricciardo in qualifying, and in races where both men have had a clear run, he has consistently finished behind the Australian.

“I think he needs to do what he’s been doing since a few races that unfortunately has not really materialised, but for reasons that are not in his direct control,” said Abiteboul.

“It’s still not totally clear what happened with the brake warming issue in Mugello. We still don’t know.

“But let’s be clear, Monza was difficult. It’s been a bit of a reset of Esteban, the way that we are all working together. There’s been lots of discussion, lots of hard work from [his engineer] Mark Slade, who’s not new to race engineering, in order to bring him through the steps.

“I think he still needs basically to be very pragmatic about the situation, which is not a disaster.”

Abiteboul acknowledged that Ocon faces stiff competition from his teammate.

“Frankly, if you were to remove the points that he has lost due to lack of reliability, he would be behind Daniel, by a chunk.

“But we’re talking about Daniel Ricciardo, and he never had such a strong team mate. He has had good team mates, and [Sergio] Perez in particular is strong, but I believe that Daniel is stronger.

“I think he needs to be very pragmatic, set himself some realistic targets, but also look at his current performance, which he should not be ashamed of, and build his confidence, build also his ability to be a bit patient.

“Sometimes like lots of young drivers he has a bit of impatience that’s leading him to make some small mistakes, but I have absolutely no worries that this cannot be fixed.

“And again, with the support of the team around him, it will be fixed.”

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