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.”
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.