Esteban Ocon attacks Alpine over Canadian GP controversy

The French driver was furious with Alpine for implementing team orders as they appeared to prioritise Pierre Gasly

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Esteban Ocon launched an astonishing attack on Alpine for “not doing their job” at the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, as tensions within the team threatened to boil over again in Montreal.

The Frenchman, who has engaged in a bitter rivalry with Pierre Gasly since the latter joined the team in 2023, was ordered to move aside for his team-mate in the final laps of Sunday’s race, which ultimately led to him losing world championship points to his compatriot.

At first, Ocon refused to let Gasly pass him when he received the call on the radio, telling them to “forget it”, before he reluctantly slowed down with two laps to go. By that point, it was too late for Gasly to hunt down Daniel Ricciardo in eighth.

However, he refused to hand the spot back to Ocon, who was forced to settle for a solitary point in 10th – a respectable result after starting in 18th. But the 27-year-old was furious with Alpine’s decision to prioritise Gasly, accusing them of failing to “do their part of the job”, as he explained why he didn’t initially let his team-mate past.

“I think today I’ve done my part of the job. I don’t think the team did their part of the job,” Ocon told the written press in Canada, including Total-Motorsport.com.

“I got asked to let Pierre go, two laps to go, to [chase] Daniel, who was 2.5 seconds in front. Inside the car, I called it and I said ‘there’s no way it’s possible. So what do we do?’ And the team asked me to let him go.

“So I do my part as a team player. I lose the place on the second to last lap and I’m not happy with that, because I did a better race [than Gasly] and I should be in front. But I show once again that I do what’s best for the team.

“I respect the instructions that I’ve been given, always, and show that once more, and it’s a shame that it has to end that way.”

Ocon: I’m a team player

Ocon, whose departure from Alpine was confirmed on Wednesday after five years with the Enstone team, was told he would be staying in the seat for the remainder of the 2024 season. However, it remains to be seen if such displays of disobedience will be tolerated, especially after his run-in with team boss Bruno Famin in Monaco.

The French supremo blamed Ocon for his collision with Gasly in Monaco and warned him of “consequences”, before it was later denied Ocon would be replaced for the next race by their reserve driver Jack Doohan.

Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon have shared a bitter rivalry at Alpine. | Alpine F1 Team

Having put his hands up for that particular incident and served a five-place grid penalty, Ocon insisted he has played the role of a perfect team-mate: “I’ve been a team player and I’ve always respected the instructions that I’ve been given. Always. It’s always been the case,” Ocon added.

“I showed it once more today. But yeah, [being] the nice guy doesn’t always pay off in Formula 1, and that is bothering me a lot. I hope things will turn around at the end of the season.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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