REVEALED: Russell & Ocon’s Angry Request to Red Flag Qualifying Before Norris’ Horror Crash at Spa

Published 08/29/2021, 6:15 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 19, 2021 Alpine’s Esteban Ocon during a press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier


Lando Norris went off at Eau Rouge in Q3 in a horrific crash at the Belgian Grand Prix. Many drivers, including Esteban Ocon, George Russell, and Sebastian Vettel, had complained regarding the conditions before Norris’ crash. The drivers had requested to red flag the session before the crash.

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Ocon and Russell were angry about the decision to continue racing in the torrential rain. They came on their radios to their teams to take aid in the wet conditions.

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George Russell complains about race control’s decision to continue Q3 in Spa

Williams driver George Russell had spoken about his concerns regarding the conditions and asked his team to inform him about the red flag, the rain, and the cars behind because of poor visibility from his cockpit.

” The rain is falling harder and harder. I think the track’s gonna get worse unless you’ve got info that I don’t. I think we need to go Mode 2 and get my lap in. Let’s see what happens. Tires feel okay, not great, but they feel okay. We can always abort,” said Russell on his team radio.

Russell immediately followed up in anguish,” Red Flag! Red Flag! Aquaplaning at this rate. Red Flag!” When he was informed that Norris had crashed, Russell said,” Yep. I was massively off on the straights. Is he alright?”

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Esteban Ocon made a plea to the FIA before the crash

Alpine driver, Esteban Ocon expressed similar concerns as Russell. He also mentioned that the session had huge amounts of rain. He insisted the session should be red-flagged as the drivers could see nothing.

“Let me know traffic behind, I cannot see anything,” said Ocon to his race engineer.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon during practice REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

When his race engineer was discussing the plan for the session, Ocon quickly came on the radio and stated,” Well, there is a huge amount of rain. It will go red flag but keep me informed if somebody goes off some corner.”

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When he heard about Norris’ crash, Ocon quickly replied,” F***, and I said it. Why don’t they red flag the session? Yeah, is he alright though?”

Vettel had also been fuming on the radio after Lando’s crash at Eau rouge. He mentioned the conditions got worse because of the rain in Q3.

Should Q3 have been earlier? Let us know.

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Devang Chauhan

344 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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