Alpine set record straight on Esteban Ocon omission from Canadian Grand Prix FP1 session

Jamie Woodhouse
Alpine driver Esteban Ocon at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

Alpine's Esteban Ocon.

With Esteban Ocon set to sit out FP1 at the Canadian Grand Prix, Alpine has moved to deny that this is the “consequences” threatened.

In the immediate aftermath of a first-lap collision between Alpine team-mates Ocon and Pierre Gasly in Monaco, team principal Bruno Famin spoke with French broadcaster Canal+ and threatened “consequences” for Ocon.

Esteban Ocon not out of Canada FP1 for disciplinary reasons

Ocon takes a five-place grid penalty into the Canadian GP due to that shunt and will start his race weekend from the second hour of practice, as Alpine reserve driver Jack Doohan will take the wheel of Ocon’s A524 for the FP1 session.

However, an Alpine spokesperson has moved to confirm that this is not in response to what happened in Monaco.

This will be Doohan’s fifth FP1 appearance with Alpine, the Australian driver a leading contender to step up to a race seat in F1 2025, following the announcement ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix that Ocon will leave the team at the end of this season.

And Doohan is excited to hit the track in Montréal, in what will be his first experience of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“Really excited to get out on track in Montréal for FP1,” he said. “It will be my first time driving at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, which I am looking forward to.

“I am grateful to the team for the opportunity to get more track time, and also familiarise myself with 2024 machinery early in the season. This will also help with the work I am doing in the simulator, particularly at the European rounds.

“My focus will be on doing the best for the team and maximising the session for both drivers, looking at certain test items and understanding the new track surface.”

Famin added: “In Canada, we have decided to use the first mandatory young driver Free Practice 1, with Jack Doohan in the car in place of Esteban, giving him the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the A524.

“With Jack’s great work in the simulator in recent races, we can count on his valuable feedback in Montréal.”

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Following intense criticism and speculation over his Alpine future – including suggestions that he could be benched for the Canadian GP in reaction to the Monaco crash – Ocon hit back in a heartfelt social media statement and is looking forward to getting back to the driving this weekend in Montreal.

“A lot has been said in recent days, so I am very much looking forward to driving again and getting back out on track,” he said.

“My focus and energy is fully dedicated to the team and maximising our results on track, starting already this weekend in Canada.

“The pace we showed in Monaco was positive, particularly in qualifying trim where we had the opportunity to get both cars into Q3. As a team, we have been making steady progress over the course of the season. Despite the circuit characteristics being quite different, hopefully we can carry momentum into Montréal and show similar speed as we did in Monaco.

“The field is extremely close at the moment, so extracting every bit of performance counts.”

Alpine sit P9 in the Constructors’ standings with two points scored so far in F1 2024.

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