Austin bumps were 'on the limit' for F1, says Ocon

Esteban Ocon thinks the bumps at the Circuit of the Americas were right on the limit this year, and suggests they will need working on before Formula 1 returns.

Austin bumps were 'on the limit' for F1, says Ocon

F1 headed to last weekend’s United States Grand Prix expecting a tough time from the bumps, in the wake of complaints having surfaced about them during the recent MotoGP event there.

But while the bumps did not trigger any safety concerns for the F1 drivers, they did cause multiple headaches for teams.

For as well as forcing some suspension and ride height setup compromises to ensure the cars could ride the bumps, the repeated violent impacts also took their toll on the machinery.

Red Bull was forced to make a repair to a hairline crack that it found on Max Verstappen’s rear wing while a number of cars – including Ocon - suffered failures on Sunday that could have been caused by the bumps.

Asked by Motorsport.com whether he felt the bumps were acceptable for a modern F1 track, Ocon said: “I think they are on the limit.

“They are on the limit for reliability and I think [if they go] a little bit more if we come back next year, and it’s another step, then I think the cars will start to really face issues.

“When you go slow it is not a big problem, but once you start going fast and it's big hits on the floor, on the suspension, the engineers start seeing red alarms and high loads.

“That's obviously not something that we should see. So I think the track needs need some work for next year.”

Read Also:

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin admitted that the bumps had not been easy to work with, but said his outfit had been bracing itself for bigger trouble.

“It was quite tricky, and very difficult to say if that was a bigger issue for us than the Red Bull,” he said.

“I think the Red Bull had a stronger rear end here and, when you are overheating [the tyres] and bouncing around like that, rear grip is your friend. I think that is an area where their car seems to be performing very well.

“But we were probably braced for bigger issues in terms of car set-up and damage with the bumps, and it seemed to cope with it reasonably well.”

shares
comments

Related video

Bottas: "Mercedes hasn't found issues with remaining F1 engines"
Previous article

Bottas: "Mercedes hasn't found issues with remaining F1 engines"

Next article

McLaren: Ferrari "clearly quicker" after F1 power unit upgrade

McLaren: Ferrari "clearly quicker" after F1 power unit upgrade
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021