Former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde has insisted that Esteban Ocon is among the “second-best drivers” in F1.

Ocon joined an illustrious list of names at the Hungarian GP. After the race was over, he could officially call himself a race winner. He led 66 out of the 70 laps, and won with Alpine in a dramatic race.

The grid and the community coming together to congratulate him, and among them was van der Garde. However, the former Caterham driver said Ocon’s win does not boost his stock. The Dutchman insisted, in a statement obvious to everyone and their mothers, that the Frenchman does not belong among the elite drivers of the sport.

Sauber lawyer says Giedo van der Garde risks injury or DEATH if he races in  Australian Grand Prix - Mirror Online
Giedo van der Garde (pictured) put Esteban Ocon a tier below the top drivers in F1, to nobody’s surprise. Source: mirror.co.uk

“He is not on the same level as Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc,” van der Garde told motorsport.com.

“He is more on the same level as Pierre Gasly and Daniel Ricciardo. Let’s say, the second best drivers in Formula 1. He certainly belongs between those names. For what he showed (at the Hungarian GP), he deserves a lot of respect. He didn’t make a single mistake, he drove superbly.

“He was incredibly consistent, he did well with the blue flags, and he also did well in the transition from a little bit wet to dry track; he deserves a lot of respect for what he did there. I think he is a good driver. He has shown in the lower categories he can win races and championships.

“He is a driver who really belongs in Formula 1. Of course, the first year he drove for Force India, he was already very good, especially compared to Sergio Perez,” the Dutchman concluded.

Captain Obvious

With all due respect to van der Garde, this is an F1 statement so basic that Ocon himself is probably aware of it. In fact, if there was an award for the most obvious statement said in 2021, choosing a winner between this and ‘COVID-19 is a threat’ would be very hard.

On second thoughts, we would give the award to the Dutchman, because at least there are anti-vaxxers to diminish the chances of the latter statement.

Nobody said Ocon is the #1 WDC contender after his maiden win in Hungary. In our humble opinion, van der Garde gave the answer to a question no one asked, or will ever ask.

Read more: Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Ocon reveal the unfair nature of F1 sprint races

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