Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Ocon denies Alpine are punishing him by giving car to Doohan for practice

Formula 1

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Esteban Ocon insists Alpine are not punishing him for his collision with his team mate at the last round by making him miss first practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

However Ocon indicated the decision to put Jack Doohan in his car was taken after the previous race, as the penalty he received there was taken into consideration.

Alpine announced yesterday Doohan, its reserve driver, will take over Ocon’s car for the first practice session tomorrow. All teams are required to run a driver who has started no more than two grands prix in each of their cars in one first practice session during the season.

Ocon said he’s “prepared the same way as I’ve done to race in Canada” this weekend. “I’ve seen some various talking things about obviously Jack coming as a punishment or something but it’s not the case,” he told Sky.

The Monaco Grand Prix stewards gave Ocon a five-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Pierre Gasly on the first lap of the race.

“We’ve decided that it was a good time, with my penalty, that the track [is] obviously quite green [on Friday] in the beginning, and that I had to give [up] an FP1 this year. So we’ve done that here and I hope that Jack can provide some good feedback for the rest of the weekend for the team.”

Alpine team principal Bruno Famin originally threatened “consequences” for Ocon over his collision with Gasly. The team subsequently announced they had decided not to renew his contract next year.

Ocon denied any connection between the decision and the Monaco crash. “A group like Renault doesn’t take decisions on single moments like that,” he said.

“For us, it was important that we’ve discussed for several months and we decided together not to continue. It’s no secret that we’ve been talking with Alpine and various other teams as well.

“I spent five years with this team achieving great things and having some more difficult moments as well. But I’m proud of what I’ve achieved with this team and it’s time for me to have other challenges, exciting challenges. And I think it was definitely the right time that we decided to end our relationship.”

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Keith Collantine
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14 comments on “Ocon denies Alpine are punishing him by giving car to Doohan for practice”

  1. I’m sure it was a total coincidence, as was the announcement he was “mutually agreed to be utterly fired from the team” after this season.

    1. Yeah still waiting for that announcement on his future that would follow ‘in due course’ maybe in French that is a couple of weeks or months.. but I would have expected something by now. Not sure who Ocon thinks he’s fooling.

      1. @streydt There may be a constructive dismissal case being prepared in case Alpine tries to jump the gun and do a firing before the end of 2024. In which case, Ocon’s motive is simply to protect his seat until the end of 2024.

  2. People are really exaggerating the consequences of his crash with Gasly. They were running 10th and 11th before the crash? Where did they finish? 10th and a DMF. This crash did not cost them any points in the championship.

    1. Especially since there was more costly crash (in terms of points lost) in their common history, and it wasn’t caused by Ocon.

      *cough* Down under *cough*

    2. It’s not about the consequences it’s about ignoring team orders. It was the last straw on the camel’s back

      1. if he ends up at Haas it would be shear brilliance. At any rate, Renault are just milking this power unit thing and punishing the fans and Alpine so they make up for all that projected income they lost. The new power unit formula is the worst thing to ever happen to F1.

        Sustainability at it’s finest.

    3. They were running 9th and 10th, so it could’ve cost them 2 points, although they would’ve been dropped back again after the red flag.

      But it’s a combinations of things. It was the fact that Ocon ignored team orders which resulted in him damaging both cars, it’s the long history of his inability to have a healthy relationship with teammates, and it’s his public insults towards Alpine this past year. He’s been causing a lot of problems and this is the final issue that they’ve drawn the line on.

      End result though, it probably doesn’t change much since he was apparently already out before Monaco due to both sides wanting to break the relationship. This just allows Alpine to make it look like it’s somewhat one sided and helps them a bit, but it does also hurt Ocon’s future chances in the sport.

      1. Bob Yes, they were running 9th & 10th at that point, although Sainz was always going to get reinstated to P3, meaning they would’ve been back to P10 & 11, respectively, & thus a single point either way.

    4. @paeschli How close did it come to a double-DNF?

    5. It was definitely not exaggerated; if anything it’s been under played. Alpine as a team is currently in dire straights points wise, they’re in a terrible position and need to be smart to get out of it.

      As a team, right now even 1 single point per race is critical for their season results, they need to at least get to 7th place overall and pass Haas to get there.
      They have zero wiggle room or affordability for drivers to conduct their own races or agendas, right now it can only be about team unity and to score points as a team and not lose any points when in position to get one. The team has to come first in this situation. Ocon defied this.

      Ocon recklessly decided to race his own race and not the teams, despite how dangerous & risky it was for his teams overall results. We saw this happen to Haas in past seasons and it was catastrophic to their final WCC position; when they had potential to do better.

      Ocon’s bad decisions is literally costing Alpine millions of dollars/Euro’s.

  3. Alpine better not stuff up their plans for Doohan like they did Piastri.

  4. Just because the Monty Python knight said it was just a scratch when his arm was cut off, didn’t make it true.

  5. The weather was on Ocon’s side. Nothing lost from missing P1.

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