‘Tension’ in Alpine garage as Alonso/Ocon duelled

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, Alpine, battle at the Dutch GP. September 2021.

Alpine drivers Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon go to battle during the Dutch Grand Prix. September 2021.

Alpine admit there was “some tension” in the garage as Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon went to battle at Zandvoort.

Alonso would pass Ocon and Antonio Giovinazzi on the opening lap of the Dutch Grand Prix, but with Alonso not pulling away, instead dropping back from the Ferraris to save his tyres, Ocon eventually took to team radio to ask that the two-time World Champion let him through.

The team order did not come though, and the two Alpine drivers went to battle, even banging wheels at one stage.

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Alpine’s executive director Marcin Budkowski admitted to AS that there was “some tension” in the Alpine garage at this stage.

“Fortunately nothing happened,” he added.

Alonso saw the funny side of it, saying that Ocon was actually one of three drivers he made contact with in the space of six corners.

“I touched Esteban, Russell at Turn 2 and Giovinazzi at turn six. My tyres were solid because I didn’t have any punctures,” he said with a smile.

Ultimately, Alonso went on to finish the Dutch Grand Prix in P6, between the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Ocon meanwhile was forced to settle for P9, having lost out in his battle with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez who was recovering through the pack, and Ocon was left feeling as though a better result was possible.

“I think a bit more was possible,” he told reporters after the race.

“There was a tricky start, a bit of contact here and there, good fights all the way through the race, pushing hard, that was good fun on this track.

“But I don’t think we got the luckiest blue flags, that slowed me down and at wrong parts of the track, so we lost a couple of seconds which were crucial on the position in the end because we couldn’t keep Checo [Sergio Perez] behind.

“And I couldn’t attack Carlos on the other side, so could have been a bit better.”