Alpine will deal with Ocon-Gasly incident ‘behind closed doors’

© XPB 

Alpine team boss Bruno Famin says the Enstone squad will review the costly run-in between its drivers in Monaco “behind closed doors” amid rumors that Esteban Ocon could be sidelined from next month’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Ocon and teammate Pierre Gasly found themselves tangled up in a controversial incident at Portier corner on the opening lap of last weekend’s race in the Principality.

Ocon attempted an ambitious move into the tight corner diving down the inside line to overtake his teammate. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough space for both cars on the exit.

Contact was inevitable, and the impact sent Ocon's car airborne, the #31 Alpine landing heavily and suffering significant damage that ended the Frenchman’s race while Gasly was able to finish 10th and collect a championship point.

The stewards wasted no time in assigning blame, judging Ocon to be wholly responsible for the incident and initially handed him a 10-second time penalty.

However, with his race already over, the sanction was later converted to a grid penalty for the following race in Canada.

Speaking just minutes after the clash to French broadcaster Canal Plus, a visibly furious Famin did not hold back his criticism of Ocon, especially as clear instructions had been given to both drivers ahead of the race to avoid taking any undue risk.

"Esteban's attack was completely out of line. It's exactly what we didn't want to see, and there will be consequences," Famin said.

"We are going to make a tough decision. On the first lap at the Portier, it was not the place to make a move, leaving no room for his team-mate."


Later on, reacting to the episode in Alpine’s official press release, Famin offered a more measured commentary.

“As a team we will review and manage the incident between both cars behind closed doors,” he said. “We must avoid situations that have the potential to compromise the team.

“Today’s result was largely defined by yesterday’s qualifying and, as a team, one point is how it has ended up.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling. We probably did not maximise yesterday’s qualifying but from where we ended Friday to where we have ended Sunday is clearly a positive outcome.”

After the race, Ocon, whose contract with Alpine runs out at the end of the year, took to social media to apologise for his ill-fated move.

"Today's incident was my fault, the gap was too small in the end and I apologise to the team on this one,” he said. “Hoping for a deserved points-finish for the team today."


Reports later emerged in the Monaco paddock that Alpine was seriously considering sanctioning Ocon with a race ban, although the team made no mention of this to the media.

Nevertheless, Famin was seen talking to Alpine reserve driver Jack Doohan shortly after the event.

Commenting on the Alpine drivers’ clash, Sky F1 pundit Jenson Button said:

"If you look at it just as a move, he was long way up the inside. He was past him at the apex. The issue is he ran a bit wide on the exit and didn't leave enough room, so they clipped each other.

"The issue is if they were told before the race not to race each other. That's where the issue is and that's why Famin is so angry."

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