Esteban Ocon’s remarkable record of finishing every Formula 1 race he started came to a disappointing end in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix after being eliminated in a first-lap crash with Romain Grosjean.
Since debuting at the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix, Ocon had seen the checkered flag in all 27 races he had started, breaking Max Chilton’s record for the most consecutive finishes from debut in F1.
This ‘Oconsistency’ stretched all the way back to the 2014 Macau Grand Prix in single-seaters, with the Frenchman having not retired throughout his title-winning GP3 campaign in 2015.
Ocon’s run came to an end in Brazil after being sent into the barrier at Turn 6 on the opening lap when Romain Grosjean lost control of his car when trying to defend his position on the inside, causing contact with the Force India.
“I’m not happy to retire from the race. I knew this day would come at some stage, but I wasn’t expecting it to be today,” Ocon said.
“It’s a shame because it has been three years since my last retirement in single-seaters. There was nothing I could do; Romain lost the car in turn six and crashed into me.
“He made a mistake and I suffered from it, my front wheel rim was damaged so I couldn’t even drive back to the pits.
“It’s frustrating because the car was quick and we had the pace to be fighting up there with Checo [Perez, who finished eighth].
“Days like this happen but I hope it will be another three years before it happens again.”