Alpine urged to axe ‘stupid’ Esteban Ocon after ‘very destructive’ Monaco behaviour

Jamie Woodhouse
Esteban Ocon looks at the camera during the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon.

With Esteban Ocon reportedly facing the prospect of being benched for the Canadian Grand Prix, Alpine team boss Bruno Famin is being encouraged to take this course of action by former Formula 1 driver Christian Danner.

Famin was left enraged after Ocon collided with Alpine team-mate Pierre Gasly on the opening lap of the Monaco Grand Prix, the pair having first engaged in battle through Massenet as Ocon narrowly avoided the barriers, while a lunge down the inside at Portier did result in contact which lifted Ocon’s Alpine off the track and eliminated him from the race.

Canadian GP axe ‘only language’ Esteban Ocon will understand

Ocon’s public apology in the aftermath did little to appease Alpine principal Famin, who is reportedly giving “serious” thought to sidelining Ocon for the upcoming Canadian GP, having threatened “consequences”.

Danner, speaking with, rather bluntly called it “typical Ocon” and while he put forward a “very harsh financial penalty” as an option, he urged Famin to make the 27-year-old sit out the next race.

“That was obviously stupid, far too aggressive and I would unfortunately say: typical Ocon,” said 36-time F1 race starter Danner as he analysed the collision between Ocon and Gasly.

“That doesn’t work and is simply stupid. It really doesn’t help and, for once, they were even relatively competitive so both were in a position to finish in the points. And jeopardising something like that is very counterproductive, very destructive towards the team.

“From that point of view, I wasn’t surprised that Bruno Famin was really angry.

“As the boss, I actually have to say: ‘My dear friend, you’re sitting out a race and now Jack Doohan [Alpine reserve] is driving. Full stop’. Then Ocon will learn.

“If he does it differently, just with a telling-off, then it will go in the left ear and out the right ear again.

“And that’s why I think he [Famin] will have to make a stark decision after sleeping on it for two or three nights, so that he finally has some peace in this matter for the rest of the year, when we still have an incredible number of races ahead of us.

“And the only language he [Ocon] understands is: ‘you’re sitting out a race’.”

More key talking points from the Monaco Grand Prix

👉 Unseen footage from another Ocon and Gasly collision emerges as Alpine mull Canada expulsion

👉 Jos Verstappen declares Red Bull dominance over as McLaren, Ferrari get ‘closer’

Gasly would go on to score a point for Alpine in P10, only their second of the season, as he expressed his disappointment over the incident, stressing that it cannot happen again.

He told media including following the Monaco race: “Disappointed with the situation, and especially [because] we had clear instructions before the race on what to do and whoever qualified ahead, [the] trailing car was supposed to help throughout the race with the strategy. But unfortunately, didn’t happen.

“And that, we definitely need to speak because we can’t afford especially in the season like that, to have points [dropped], all might be crucial at the end of the year, and just got to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

Both Ocon and Gasly are currently out of contract at Alpine come the end of the F1 2024 season.

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