Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon have given their views on the crash that ruled both of them out of the Australian Grand Prix after a late red flag restart caused chaos with two laps to go.
The French duo potentially added another chapter to their feud, which stems back to their go-karting days, in an incident Alpine will hope doesn’t lead to future tension ahead of a long 2023 Formula 1 season.
Gasly had been running fifth in Melbourne and was on for his best finish since joining Alpine, but made a poor getaway in the two-lap shootout following Kevin Magnussen‘s crash, running wide at Turn 1 before rejoining the track ahead of his teammate.
Ocon moved to the outside to make space for his countryman but could do little to avoid a collision that put them both in the wall and scattered Albert Park in debris.
Race control quickly said they would investigate the incident, but what did the drivers have to say?
Gasly: We all remember what’s happened before
A raging Gasly was rendered speechless initially before giving his take on the crash and the race as a whole, hinting that Ocon has history of being involved in similar incidents.
“I don’t want to comment but we all remember what’s happened before and for now I’m just gutted to miss out on a strong result,” Gasly told Sky Sports F1.
“We’ll have a couple of weeks to look back at these last two laps.
“I was pretty much in the gearbox of Carlos [Sainz] for many laps. I was catching Fernando [Alonso] in some laps, I think at the end they picked up a bit more pace but all in all I feel like we’ve missed much to be fighting with them properly.
“Running in P5 on pace was definitely a nice surprise. I just can’t believe what’s happened in the end.”
Ocon: Pierre apologised, no hard feelings
Ocon admitted he was sore after the hefty hit and appeared to lay all the blame squarely at his teammate’s feet.
“I’m feeling OK, a little bit of a headache, it’s been a hard hit but I will be OK,” Ocon said. “But yeah, tricky weekend, I think nothing really clicked on our direction the whole weekend.
“We were going to be fourth or fifth probably without the red flag but that killed it completely.
“Obviously, the chaotic restart, it could have been anyone that I collided with to be honest because there was a lot of cars going off.
“It ended up being Pierre not leaving me enough space, but no hard feelings. He came and apologised and as I said it could have been anyone.
“I don’t think that [cold tyres] was the reason why so many people went off.
“People pushed to get results and took risk and obviously it paid off for some and it didn’t pay off for others.”