Ocon Addresses 'Abuse And Negativity' That He Received Following Monaco Incident

F1
Saturday, 01 June 2024 at 10:19
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Esteban Ocon, who caused a collision with his teammate during the most recent race at Circuit de Monaco, issued a response to online abuse he received in the aftermath.
The French Alpine driver Esteban Ocon caused his whole team a great deal of headaches during the most recent race- the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.
Starting behind his teammate in the tight and twisty streets of Monaco, Ocon knew his best chance to overtake Pierre Gasly would be on lap one.
Going into turn number eight (which isn't usually a corner to make an overtake), the 27-year-old sent a big dive down the inside on Gasly, which ended with a collision.
Lucky circumstances later allowed Gasly to continue in the race and deliver Alpine's second point of the season, but Ocon was out of the race, and the fact that he threatened one of his team's rare chances to score points deeply upset his team principal.
In the meantime, Ocon also received a grid penalty going into his next race, which means he basically destroyed his chances to score points not only in Monaco but also in Canada (the upcoming Grand Prix).
Speaking to the media during the race day, Bruno Famin (Alpine's team principal) said he might have to make a tough decision following the race in Monaco.
This was interpreted as possibly benching Ocon to demonstrate how the team discipline needs to be. The 27-year-old also received a massive load of criticism online.
The criticism didn't come only from fans but also from pundits, former F1 drivers like Christian Danner, for example. He said it was "typical Ocon" to make such a "stupid" move on his own teammate.
This wasn't the Frenchman's first incident with a teammate, and fans have now started suggesting that Ocon just can't be a team player. Addressing all the messages he received over the course of this week, Esteban Ocon issued a lengthy response on his Twitter (former X):

"Much has been said in the aftermath of the Monaco Grand Prix. While I have received many messages of support, I have been deeply saddened by the amount of abuse and negativity that I have received online regarding my character, my driving, and my career."

"Thanks to the hard work, support, and sacrifices of many people, I've raced in over 140 Grands Prix so far since my debut in 2016. I have always been a tough competitor, and, like most drivers, I've had my share of incidents."

"I have been lucky to race alongside talented and experienced teammates, including race winners Daniel, Checo and Pierre, and a double champion in Fernando."

"As teammates, we would often start races very close to each other which in some cases meant some tough battles on track, and sometimes contact."

"Of course, I have made honest mistakes. We are not robots; we are athletes pushing ourselves to the limit every day to achieve our dreams of winning races. F1 is a sport where emotions run high, and passions run deep."

"I see and feel this every weekend at the track and on social media… the good and the bad. But the misinformed statements and gross distortions that I have seen online in recent days about my ability to work with a team have been inaccurate, hurtful, and damaging."

"Since my first laps in motorsport, I have approached this sport with humility, professionalism, and respect. These values were instilled in me from a very young age."

"While each driver chases individual glory, this will always be a team sport first and foremost. I have always followed the instructions I have been given and raced to achieve the maximum for and with my team."

"I took responsibility for the incident on lap 1 last Sunday and, despite my DNF, I am glad the team added a point to the tally in what has been a difficult start to the season for all of us."

"I respect Pierre as a teammate and as a competitor. We have always worked collaboratively and professionally inside the team, and this will continue to be the case."

"There is no reward without risk in Formula One – and race starts are intense, even more so in Monaco where the opening lap can dictate your finishing result."

"In the end, we are all competitors and hard, fair racing throughout the field is what makes our sport so great and the main reason why I love this sport so much."

"I'm looking forward to competing in Montreal, in front of the fantastic Canadian fans, and to the exciting opportunities the future holds."

Much has been said in the aftermath of the Monaco Grand Prix. While I have received many messages of support, I have been deeply saddened by the amount of abuse and negativity that I have received online regarding my character, my driving, and my career.

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