Esteban Ocon relieved to end Bahrain GP from hell

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was bewildered with his dismal 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix which was ruined by picking up four penalties

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Esteban Ocon was sarcastically impressed at the number of problems he and Alpine had during the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Following a good qualifying session, Ocon had a nightmare start making contact with Nico Hulkenberg and damaging his front wing endplate before receiving a five-second penalty for starting in the incorrect grid slot.

Ocon then received a second penalty for having his car worked on before the five seconds were over, and when leaving the pits, the Frenchman was caught speeding, earning him a third penalty.

He then received his fourth penalty just a few laps later, and with Ocon rooted to the back of the field, Alpine retired his car with less than 15 laps to go.

“Yeah, quite impressive,” Ocon sarcastically said to the media after the race. “We are usually quite good on these operational things, and these are things that we put a lot of effort on.

“I think everything went wrong today. This has never [happened before], so surprised to see that this happened. But you know, we’ll analyse and come back stronger from it.”

On course for points before multiple penalties

Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly | Alpine F1 team

Although Ocon’s challenge was ended by the first of his four penalties, teammate Pierre Gasly did manage to salvage a good result for Alpine finishing ninth after starting 20th.

Gasly’s good fortune and his heroic drive through the pack meant he scored points in Bahrain for the first time since 2020, when he finished sixth for AlphaTauri.

As a result of Gasly’s charge, Alpine will go into the next round in Jeddah sixth in the constructors’ championship after a weekend where the team struggled for pace.

“Yeah, we were wrong on course to score those points,” explained Ocon. “[We were] on [our] way to [scoring points]. It’s a missed opportunity.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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