Pierre Gasly fires shots at Esteban Ocon as Alpine row reignites

The two Alpine drivers have been at odds on several occasions this season and Gasly was left furious with his team-mate's actions

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Pierre Gasly has taken another swipe at his Alpine team-mate Esteban Ocon ahead of the Formula 1 2024 Spanish Grand Prix as tensions threaten to boil over again between the two Alpine drivers.

Gasly was left furious with Ocon’s refusal to obey team orders at the Canadian GP in Montreal nearly a fortnight ago, after Alpine instructed Ocon to let Gasly by to attack RB’s Daniel Ricciardo in front of him. Likewise, Ocon vented his anger at the team after the race.

Ocon, who was running in ninth position at the time, shouted: “Forget it!” when his race engineer passed down instructions from their strategists to let Gasly past. But after two more laps and a tense discussion on the radio, he reluctantly agreed to slow down and Gasly moved ahead.

However, it was too late at this point to bridge the gap to Ricciardo and Gasly was forced to settle for P9. Despite requesting to swap back positions at the end of the race, Alpine informed Ocon this would not be happening – much to his frustration.

Esteban Ocon refused to move aside for Pierre Gasly. | Alpine F1 Team
Esteban Ocon refused to move aside for Pierre Gasly. | Alpine F1 Team

Speaking about the incident for the first time, Gasly blamed his team-mate for costing the team two precious world championship points.

“It was a shame because I think personally, I feel like we had a shot to get the eighth place,” Gasly told the written press in Barcelona, including Total-Motorsport.com. “Unfortunately, Esteban took two laps to make the swap and Ricciardo opened that two-second gap. [It’s] just a shame it wasn’t done when the team asked straight away because we had an extra two points to fight for.”

Pierre Gasly is Alpine’s priority

It is the latest chapter in a long-standing rivalry, which stretches back as far as their karting days when Gasly and Ocon raced each other in France. Despite both drivers admitting there is a mutual dislike between them, Alpine decided to hire Gasly for the 2023 season when he left AlphaTauri to form an all-French lineup alongside Ocon.

But things did not go to plan for Alpine in 2023, finishing sixth in the constructors’ championship with their season marred by senior management changes and the sacking of Otmar Szafnauer. He was replaced by Bruno Famin, who appears to have favoured Gasly’s driving style over Ocon’s confrontational approach.

That was evident when the pair collided at the Miami GP and later at the Monaco GP in May, an incident that Ocon took full responsibility for. Famin warned there would be “consequences” for the 27-year-old and it was announced in June that Ocon would be leaving the team upon the expiry of his contract.

Gasly, meanwhile, is content with how talks are progressing over a new contract: “I trust in the decision of the top management and I don’t have any particularly particular worry on that side. So things are very clear.

“I know where I’ve got to focus on and we’ve got a lot of work currently on the table with the car we got and that’s where all the focus is going into. But you have to take a decision for the future as well, obviously everything comes into play. I think the conversations are going very transparently with the team and that’s why I’m happy on that hand.”

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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