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Esteban Ocon

Ocon takes blame and apologises to Schumacher for Bahrain clash

Esteban Ocon has offered his apologies to Mick Schumacher after their incident in last weekend's Bahrain season opener.

Ocon Alonso Bahrain
To news overview © Alpine

Esteban Ocon says he "can only apologise" to Mick Schumacher after taking the blame for their collision on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The pair were scrapping in the midfield when Alpine driver Ocon went for a move up the inside on the approach to Turn 6, where the front-left of his car made contact with Schumacher's rear-right, tipping the Haas into a 360-degree spin.

After reviewing the incident, the stewards determined that Ocon's move "was not done in a safe and controlled manner", landing him a five-second time penalty and two penalty points (bringing his current total to three).

Ocon offers his apologies after first-lap clash

Ocon recovered from his time penalty to take points in seventh, with Schumacher crossing the line in 11th, and the Frenchman immediately offered his apologies post-race.

"I can only apologise to him; it was my bad to be on the inside there," Ocon told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I'm happy that I didn't completely compromise his race."

Pushed for a deeper explanation of the incident from his viewpoint, Ocon commented: "Basically, I was not fully alongside – I was halfway alongside. I thought he saw me, so I kept the nose there, but in the end, no.

"I was not alongside enough, probably, to make the move."

Schumacher gives his take on the incident

Schumacher offered a philosophical outlook when asked for his thoughts on the collision, despite his race being compromised.

"We're here to race; we're not here to not go for the gap," said Schumacher, as he assessed Ocon's move, and the corner he attempted it at.

"It's an unusual place, but that's where most overtakes happen, [as] it's when people don't expect it. He tried it, it didn't work. I might try it and it works, or it might not work – we'll find out in the future!"

Schumacher also insists that he will not be holding any grudges against Ocon for the incident.

He added: "We understand each other well and out of the car there's no problem. By now [after the race], I laugh about it.

"When things happen on the track, I'm a bit gutted [at the time], but that can't change my mental approach to the racing."

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