'I’m going to cry': F1 ace gutted in brutal on-air moment

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Esteban Ocon was left gutted after being pipped to third place in the Saudi Arabian GP in the final five metres. Pic: Fox Sports
Esteban Ocon was left gutted after being pipped to third place in the Saudi Arabian GP in the final five metres. Pic: Fox Sports

Spare a thought for Esteban Ocon after the Frenchman was left fighting off tears in the wake of a cruel finish to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton strengthened his bid for an eighth world title after winning the race and picking up a bonus point for the fastest lap to go level on points with runner-up Max Verstappen in the championship standings.

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For Alpine driver Ocon there was only despair after the 25-year-old was denied a precious podium finish in the final five metres of the race.

Ocon led Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas right up until the final straight when the Finn managed to pass him and snatch third place.

The official timesheets showed that Ocon was just 0.1 seconds behind Bottas when the pair finished the race.

The Frenchman could be heard cursing his misfortune on team radio in the immediate aftermath.

“No, for f*** sake,” the devastated Frenchman said to his team as Bottas snuck past him.

“Joke, f***. There was straight-line speed at the end there. For f*** sake, missed by not much.

“Yeah sorry guys, sorry for that.”

The 25-year-old's anger turned to anguish soon afterwards as he spoke with Sky Sports reporter Natalie Pinkham about the gut-wrenching finish.

“Don’t push me, I’m going to cry. Don’t push me, I’m going to cry, Natalie,” Ocon said as he tried to keep a brave face.

“We gave it everything we could today. We took all the right choices, the car was spot on. It was mega to drive.

“We held that third place for a very long time until five metres before the end. Five metres is probably what cost us the podium. It’s hard to swallow. The competitor in me is frustrated and very sad. But if you told me (at the start of the day) we would have finished fourth, I would have been happy.”

Lewis Hamilton sets up blockbuster season finale 

Victory for Hamilton over his fierce rival Verstapen sets up a blockbuster winner-takes-all final race in Abu Dhabi next weekend.

Hamilton was behind Verstappen for much of the 50-lap race which was stopped twice because of crashes and interrupted numerous times by the safety car and virtual safety car.

But Hamilton, nursing a damaged front wing caused by a collision with Verstappen, came through late, to claim his eighth win of the season and the 103rd of his career.

Seen on the left, Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates with champagne after winning in Saudi Arabia.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (L) is level on points with Red Bull's Max Verstappen going into the final GP of the season. Pic: Getty

The title will be settled in Abu Dhabi, although if neither finishes in the points it will be Verstappen, who has nine victories, who will take the title.

Verstappen finished second, 11.825secs behind in spite of being given a five-second penalty after colliding with the Mercedes star.

He was later sanctioned by 10 seconds by the stewards although that did not impact his finishing position.

"Just trying to race and this sport is more about penalties than racing," said Verstappen.

"For me this is not Formula 1, but at least the fans enjoyed it and I gave it all today, but clearly not quick enough."

with agencies

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