Esteban Ocon has criticised his own team for fitting him with the Extreme Wet tyres at the Dutch Grand Prix, with the Frenchman admitting that “it was not the right tyre at any moment”.
Ocon gave his view that when full-wet tyres are required, it’s typically a sign that the race should be stopped, something he was correct about.
The race started in the dry for just over a minute, when a sudden heavy downpour saw some drivers pit at the end of the first lap for Intermediate tyres.
Ocon wasn’t one of those, as team-mate Pierre Gasly – who was ahead of him – pitted.
He was forced to do an extra lap on his dry compound, something which saw him lose several places.
When heavy rain returned much later in the race, Ocon was again pitted after Gasly, with Alpine having fitted Ocon with the full wets.
He was the only driver to be fitted with the Extreme Wet tyre, something he immediately questioned when he was informed of the team’s decision.
Ocon was absolutely furious and shouted over the radio, “This is the worst decision guys, f***ing hell”.
He was also unhappy at the fact that the team didn’t have his tyres ready, something which cost him several points.
Ocon salvaged P10 in the end, whilst Gasly claimed a podium.
“First of all, congratulations to Pierre and his side of the garage,” Ocon said, as reported by Autosport.
“I think they’ve done a super job to bring the team the second podium this season. So, that’s very positive. And probably the only positive of this weekend.
“On my side, the car wasn’t feeling better. But we still fought hard enough from 16th to sixth, it was going super well, [we] took risks. There were some big battles out there, and I always managed to make my way through, so that was really good.
“But unfortunately, we let these points just slip away at the end. I wasn’t happy with the call of the full wets. But also we boxed one lap too late.
“The tyres were not ready in the garage for me to box at the lap that I asked on the radio. So I had to stay out on slicks when it was wet and lost five positions. So went from sixth to eleventh.”
Ocon went on to criticise the full-wet tyre, something several drivers have done this season.
A general complaint has been that the tyre is too slow, making drivers not want to use it.
“No, it was not the right tyre at any moment. First, when you have a Red Bull, you have some margin in the front. We don’t have any margin,” Ocon said, when asked by Autosport if Red Bull fitting the Extreme Wets showed that they were the correct tyre at the time.
“And the second thing is, if you have to put the full wets, it’s a red flag. And it happened.
“There is no point at any point where the full wet is a better tyre because it’s slower. And if it’s the right condition for the full wets, it’s not the right condition to drive an F1 car.”