Esteban Ocon has revealed Renault teammate Daniel Ricciardo apologised to him for causing him to spin at the start of Formula 1’s Turkish Grand Prix.

Both Renault drivers made strong starts on the run to Turn 1 on F1’s first visit to Istanbul Park in nine years to momentarily move into the top four, but a slight tag from Ricciardo at the apex of the first corner sent Ocon spinning off.

Ocon had a second spin following contact with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas later in the lap before recovering to finish 11th, one place behind Ricciardo who fell to 10th in what proved to be a difficult race for Renault.

The Frenchman initially thought that Bottas was the driver who had tapped him into a spin at Turn 1 until Ricciardo held his hands up after the race.

“Daniel came and apologised,” Ocon explained. “I didn’t know it was Daniel actually who touched me.

“I thought it was Valtteri who touched me twice because the way I spun I saw Valtteri spinning as well in turn one and then later in the lap Valtteri touched me again and we both spun.

“So I thought it was twice Valtteri who touched me - but then Daniel obviously apologised.

“He had nowhere to go, it was clear that it was not his fault. It was just the wrong place at the wrong time. Basically we were all sandwiched, pretty much. I couldn’t go wide because I was going to go out and they were all stuck on the inside.”

Ocon was left frustrated not to have capitalised on his “best start” of the season in Turkey but remains confident he can turn his fortunes around heading in to the final trio of races in 2020.

“It was a flying start; the best start I had all season,” he said. “I felt comfortable with the car later on in the race, so it is a bit disappointing.

“Recently it has not been the easiest and things did not go my way each time. But will turn that around and make it happen.”

 

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