Immediately after Ocon crossed the finish line in Austin, the FIA announced that his Force India car had been found to have broken the rules.
The FIA’s telemetry data had pointed to it breaching the 100kg/hr fuel flow limit during the opening lap of the race.
Following a stewards investigation, the rules breach was confirmed and Ocon was disqualified. His Force India team was reminded of its right to appeal.
Force India team principal Otmar Szafnauer explained that his team’s data had shown that Ocon’s car had briefly encountered an unprecedented surge of fuel, but had corrected itself before the lap was done.
“What happened was that there was a spike of flow and then a trough – so if you look at it over a lap it was neutral,” he said, speaking before the stewards’ decision.
“If you look at it over the lap there is no infringement, but it depends how you chop up the lap. This is the first time it has happened.”
Szafnauer was adamant that Force India had not gained any benefit from what had happened, as the engine systems had automatically corrected for what had happened.
“We didn’t get an advantage,” he said. “There are track limits but if you go outside track limits, which you shouldn’t do, then if you haven’t gained an advantage they don’t do anything. If you have gained an advantage then they do something.
“This is another limit where we haven’t gained an advantage. I think it is unprecedented.”