Emilia Romagna GP: Perez and Ocon Involved in Bizarre Incident in FP1

Published 04/16/2021, 6:24 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during practice REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


The first practice session at Imola had to be red flagged due to an incident that took out both Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon. In a largely unremarkable session that saw a few spins, this was by far the biggest talking point.

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Overall, the incident wasn’t quite serious as it appeared to be. But there remain doubts over whether it was a crash or not. What essentially happened was that Perez lost the end of his Red Bull RB16B and spun into the runoff area, damaging his tire and some of the underside of his car in the process.

How Ocon figured into it is unclear, since there was no immediate footage shown. However, the suspicion is that there was a crash between the two. This incident unfolded with 15 minutes to go in FP1.

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The outcome of that incident was that Perez and Ocon are both out of FP1. The damage to both cars didn’t look too serious. So one can assume that fans will see Perez and Ocon back in action during Fp2.

After the incident, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said, “I’ve only had it from the driver’s perspective but obviously it sounds like Ocon was on a slow lap, and Sergio was on a flying lap and there’s been contact between the two guys into that corner.”

How were Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon performing until the incident?

At the time of the incident, Perez was just about in the top 10 fastest drivers of the session. However, he soon dropped out. By the end of FP1, Perez had clocked just the 16th fastest time.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

It wasn’t a session that revealed much, but he certainly didn’t look as quick as his teammate Max Verstappen. But all is not lost, after all, the qualifying sessions where results really matter is yet to come. So reserve any judgement on Perez for Saturday.

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As for Ocon, he end FP1 in P17. The Frenchmen wasn’t really setting the world alight either, so just like for Perez, we may have to wait and see just where he stands on the actual performance index come qualifying.

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Ronan Carvalho

1063 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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