“We should be proud of that” – Ocon reacts to his DNF at the 2023 Singapore GP

Esteban Ocon’s hopes of a strong finish at the 2023 Singapore GP were dashed when a gearbox failure forced him to retire on lap 42. Up to that point, the Frenchman had been enjoying a commendable race. He had advanced to 6th place, overtaking Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin and Sergio Perez’s Red Bull on the circuit. Having qualified 8th the day before, Ocon was on track to secure valuable championship points.

Race day was particularly significant for Ocon as he celebrated his 27th birthday. However, this retirement marked his 6th of the 2023 season and his second consecutive DNF, following a retirement in the previous Italian GP. Currently, he holds the 12th spot in the championship standings with 36 points, trailing his teammate Pierre Gasly by 9 points. Additionally, he lost a position to McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, who boasts 42 points.

In a post-race interview with F1 on the TV Pen, Ocon expressed his disappointment but also highlighted some positives for his team, Alpine.

F1 : Can you put into words the frustration that you’re feeling right now after what was a pretty mega race for you up until the point of the retirement? 

Ocon : “Yeah, I’m obviously very disappointed. You know, those things happen in motorsport today. We’ve, yeah, we broke the gearbox. We were running in a very strong position. We did everything right until then, you know, holding on [to] Red Bull cars and passing them on track and, you know, fighting with Fernando, fighting with Kevin at the start. We’ve gained positions and it was amazing and we should be proud of that. Unfortunately, yes, not the best birthday today, but we’ll come back stronger next week and we have a car which is performing, so we should be proud of that.”

F1 : From a personal level, though, was this one of your better races, maybe even your best in terms of just the quality of the racing out there? 

Ocon : “Yeah, thank you. I think it’s been a strong one, a strong weekend overall. And, you know, on a track that I am not the biggest fan of and that I found issues in the past with, I think it’s becoming one of my favourites. So, yeah, it’s pretty good in that regard and gives me confidence for the following races.”

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