Ocon penalised for 'beep' confusion

Esteban Ocon has been handed a grid penalty for confusion which led to not slowing sufficiently during red flag period.

The Frenchman and a team representative were summoned by the Suzuka stewards following the incident which took place during today’s practice session.

Accused of not slowing sufficiently during the red flag period which followed Marcus Ericsson‘s crash late in the session, Ocon told the stewards, and the telemetry showed, that he had slowed down for the red flags.

However, after Turn 4, he heard some beeps on his radio that suggested that he was too slow and sped up briefly to regularize his speed.

In doing so however, he briefly exceeded the delta by a maximum of -1.68 over three mini sectors. As a result, he had failed to maintain the speed delta required under the regulations resulting in an infringement.

He acknowledged the infringement and attributed it to the confusion caused by the beeps and the system currently being used by the team in such situations.

Given the importance of observance of the speed restrictions while red flags are being shown and recognising the limited extent of the breach, the stewards decided to impose a drop of 3 grid positions and 2 penalty points, bringing his total to 2 points for the 12 month period.

The Frenchman had qualified eighth in a session which saw Force India, much like Ferrari, caught out by the changing conditions.