Alpine boss sets record straight on Esteban Ocon Canadian GP axe rumours

Jamie Woodhouse
Esteban Ocon speaks to media at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix.

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon.

Alpine team principal Bruno Famin explained why it was “never” under consideration to drop Esteban Ocon for the Canadian Grand Prix as had been rumoured.

Famin cut a very frustrated figure after Ocon and team-mate Pierre Gasly collided on the opening lap in Monaco, Ocon attempting a move down the inside at Portier and getting lifted off the ground, eliminating him from the race.

Alpine ‘never’ considered axing Esteban Ocon for Canadian GP

In the immediate aftermath, Famin threatened “consequences” for Ocon, which led to media speculation that “serious” consideration was being given to making Ocon sit out the Canadian GP, something which did not come to pass and Famin stressed was “never” an option on the table.

Instead, Famin said the “professional” way is to discuss what went down and improve for the next race.

“I don’t know who talked about that, it has never been a point,” Famin told Sky F1.

“We’re professional. Even if something bad happens, we talk, we discuss. We do what we need to do for improving the situation for the coming race.

“But benching him for a race, it has never been a point.”

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Asked if there was any truth to the claim that he spoke to Ocon in the pre-race briefing and on the grid to set out Alpine’s Monaco GP expectations of him, Famin replied: “I never speak to the drivers in one to one for this kind of thing.

“When we have race instructions, we all speak all together to make sure everybody has the same information, everybody listens [to] the same information at the same time.

“But the instructions were clear before the race in Monaco, like it was clear before the previous one. It was very clear.”

That is why Famin believes that his frustration following the incident was justified, pointing out how the red flags after a chaotic opening lap saved the day for Alpine.

With Gasly suffering a puncture in the incident, Alpine were able to change his tyres as he re-took his P10 spot for the race restart, going on to finish in that position and pick up Alpine’s second point of the season.

“I think it was quite right to be upset, because for the team it was very bad and without the red flag we would have been Pierre last, because he would have to stop for the puncture,” said Famin.

“He would have finished the race last and yeah, it was a very bad thing.”

Alpine’s tally of two points places them P9 in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.

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