Racing Point Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen rubbed tyres at the start of Russian Grand Prix at Sochi which wasn’t caught by the cameras.
The Dane started alongside Ocon in row three and had the inside line in the run-up to the first corner. The two came close to each other with their tyres brushing according to the Frenchman at the start of the race as Magnussen kept track position.
They continued to tussle for few laps until Sauber’s Charles Leclerc found a way past both the drivers to take fifth position. But the fight between Magnussen and Ocon still went on for sixth with Sergio Perez joining in too.
However, the Haas driver managed to defend well. There was a moment where Ocon almost went through but Magnussen covered the inside line quickly after which it was just the two Force Indias following the Haas.
They even tried a switch between Ocon and Perez but they never had a pace advantage of 1.4s to make the move stick on the right corners where overtaking was possible. Ocon though shrugged off the tyre brush as racing even though he thought it was aggressive.
“It was a difficult start,” said Ocon. “I got squeezed a bit by Kevin, we rubbed a bit tyres but that is racing – aggressive style by Kevin as always. He did a good job by keeping us behind to be honest because we had more pace.
“I was able to get into one DRS but not the right one and we were much quicker for three quarters of lap but not the right corners in the end, so that’s how it is. I lost a place to Charles because of that and it was a terrible feeling inside because I was stuck.
“We had a great car pace, so that is a bit of a shame. We tried everything to get by Kevin, even swapping cars which didn’t work out. I managed to get one more shot but he was a bit too far, so we have to review what we could have done differently.”
Magnussen though was happy that he was able to keep the Force Indias behind and the maximum he could have done, admitting that the pace of the British outfit was better than the American team.
About the Author
Darshan Chokhani is a FIA Accredited journalist covering both Indian and International championships, including Formula 1, MotoGP, Formula E, World Endurance Championship and more. Although specialising in motor racing, but follows Cricket, Tennis, WWE and events involving Indian athletes.