Esteban Ocon Expresses Frustration Over Alpine's Team Orders

MONTREAL, Canada -- Esteban Ocon Expresses Frustration Over Alpine's Team Orders

In a dramatic turn of events at the Canadian Grand Prix, Esteban Ocon has labeled Alpine's team orders as "unexplainable." Ocon, who was running in eighth place, faced an energy management issue on lap 67 of 70. This problem reduced his car’s battery capacity, making it impossible for him to use its full potential. As Daniel Ricciardo edged past him for eighth place, Ocon found himself struggling to maintain his position.

With merely two laps remaining, Ocon's engineer instructed him to concede the ninth place to his teammate Pierre Gasly. Gasly had demonstrated a faster pace and was expected to chase down Ricciardo. The French driver initially refused but eventually agreed to swap positions on lap 69, assuming Gasly would return the favor if he couldn't overtake Ricciardo by the end of the race.

However, the swap never materialized as Ocon's engineer was only "working" on the possibility. By the final lap, the situation remained unaltered, with Nico Hülkenberg posing a substantial threat in 11th place, making the strategic reversal untenable.

Contentious Team Orders

The incident at the Canadian Grand Prix deepens the growing rift between Ocon and Alpine. Earlier, the team and Ocon had declared they would part ways at the end of the 2024 season. This follows another controversial moment at the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks prior, where Ocon and Gasly collided after Ocon's overly ambitious overtaking attempt on the opening lap.

Ocon's Reaction

Speaking candidly after the race, Ocon did not hold back his frustration. "Forget it! It is unexplainable, that one," Ocon stated. "I've always respected the instructions that I've been given as a driver, and I've done that once more. I'm the nice guy!"

Ocon further criticized the team's approach: "I've done my part of the job -- the team hasn't, honestly. It is not fair on that race... So I'm very frustrated with how things have been played out. I guess there are a lot of reasons, so we'll let the benefit of the doubt go on."

The French driver also expressed disbelief over the practicality of the orders, indicating the significant gap behind Ricciardo. "No, because we were two and a half seconds behind Daniel. In one lap, not even a Red Bull can catch up the gap. So, no, it makes no sense. So, either we don’t know what we are doing or we don’t realize how far it is, or it’s something else. It wasn’t the right decision," he said.

A Hopeful Outlook

Despite the controversy and frustration, Ocon remains committed to doing his best with the resources at hand. "Like usual, I'm just trying to do the best I can with what I’ve got in hands. That’s not going to change," he asserted. "I've got a very close team around me with my engineers, my mechanics -- all these guys, they are pushing day in and day out for me to perform." Reflecting on the overall performance, Ocon added, "Today, I think they were proud of the race that we were doing. But it's a different story at the end."

In conclusion, Ocon is resolved to persevere despite the challenges and controversies. "I've had harder times, so I will push hard anyway," he concluded, indicating his determination to finish the season on a high note, regardless of the issues within the team.

The unfolding tension between Ocon and Alpine is a storyline that promises further drama in the races to come. How both parties navigate the remainder of the season will be a focal point for F1 enthusiasts and experts alike.