Ocon 'Very Sad' After Being Done Wrong By Alpine Team Orders

Monday, 10 June 2024 at 16:00
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After the most recent race in Canada, Esteban Ocon expressed his disappointment with team orders at Alpine, which caused him to lose a position on the penultimate lap.
The 2024 Canadian Grand Prix was quite a strange weekend for Alpine. On the one hand, it was by far their most successful with both cars in the points.
On the other hand, there was probably a lot to debrief after the race as the team did Esteban Ocon very wrong with their orders. On lap 68 out of 70, the team requested Ocon to let his teammate through.
At that point, Ocon ran in P9, 1.3 seconds behind Daniel Ricciardo In P8. He also had Pierre Gasly right behind him. The order that he received from the team was: "Esteban, we have to let Pierre through, please. Gap behind him two seconds to Hulkenberg."
When the 27-year-old asked for an explanation, he was told it was so Gasly could attack Ricciardo. Ocon's initial reaction was, "Yeah, forget it!" but then, on lap 69, he let his French teammate through.
What usually happens in these situations is that if the driver that was let forward cannot overtake the driver in front (Ricciardo in this case), the positions should be swapped back before the finish line.
However, it wasn't the case this time at Alpine. Gasly crossed the finish line 1.3 seconds behind Ricciardo, with Ocon just three-tenths behind, hopelessly waiting to be given back his position. Speaking to the media after the race, the 27-year-old Alpine driver said:

"I'm happy for the team to be able to score with both cars. But the order should be reversed on that occasion."

"I got the instruction to let Pierre pass with two laps to go to catch Daniel, who was two and a half seconds in front and too fast for us."

Ocon played the team player and obeyed his team's instructions, but what happened didn't seem fair to him. After the race, F1 fans on social media started suggesting that Alpine had taken revenge on the Frenchman for what had happened in Monaco.
In Monaco, Ocon caused a collision with his teammate that almost put both cars out of the race. His team principal then said he might have to make a tough decision, and ahead of the weekend in Canada, it was announced that the Frenchman would not continue with Alpine from the next season.
Gasly, on the other hand, might stay with the team. Could it be that Alpine chose their number one driver now that they know the 27-year-old will be departing the other way? Ocon added:

"The call made no sense. I've done my part of the job, I've always been a team player, I've always respected the instructions I've been given."

"It's always been the case. I've never done anything different in my career. But I've done my part of the job, but not the team today. It's very sad."