Esteban Ocon benching ‘under serious consideration’ by Alpine after Monaco crash – report

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

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon.

According to Sky F1 correspondent Craig Slater, dropping Esteban Ocon for the Canadian Grand Prix is “under serious consideration” for Alpine boss Bruno Famin after the events of Monaco.

Ocon had launched an overtake attempt on Alpine team-mate Pierre Gasly into Portier on the opening lap of the race, but the duo would collide, lifting the rear of Ocon’s Alpine off the ground as he suffered race-ending damage.

‘Potential’ for Esteban Ocon to miss Canadian Grand Prix

This did not go down well at all with team principal Famin, who in the immediate aftermath, threatened “consequences” for Ocon via French broadcaster Canal+, which sparked speculation that Ocon could be benched for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix, where he is due to serve a five-place grid drop.

Slater has moved to confirm that this is a genuine threat facing Ocon, rather than just a rumour that emerged in the heat of the moment.

“Bruno Famin, he was actually on the pit wall with Canal+ who called him up immediately in the aftermath of that first-lap crash and Famin spoke angrily and he talked about taking a tough decision, which everyone has interpreted as benching Esteban Ocon for the next race in Canada,” Slater began.

“What I can say to you is that that is still a serious consideration for the Alpine boss, Bruno Famin. He will do what is best for the team. But if he decides that leaving Esteban Ocon out for a week as a demonstration of how team discipline needs to be, he is prepared to do that, but that decision has yet to be taken.

“There were face-to-face meetings between Ocon and Famin in the aftermath of the Grand Prix yesterday. Ocon apologised, both privately face to face and publicly afterwards via social media. So let’s see what happens.”

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Gasly did go on to secure a point in P10, moving Alpine’s total up to two in what has been a disappointing season for the team so far, these struggles having seen both Gasly and Ocon linked with moves away from the team for F1 2025.

Williams has been speculated as a potential destination for Gasly, while Ocon has been linked with the likes of Haas and Sauber, to become Audi in 2026.

And Slater reckons that this Monaco incident – and any repercussions that it may carry for Ocon – fuels such exit talk.

“I think what it does do is call into question whether Ocon will continue with the team beyond next year,” Slater continued.

“We all cast up the fact that he was a childhood rival of the other Alpine driver Pierre Gasly and could the two happily coexist in the same team? Well, this is another example of them not coexisting happily.

“And the other thing is, as far as most observers were concerned, it was a needlessly optimistic attempt that Ocon made to pass.

“It could have cost the team any points in the Grand Prix, it could have taken both the drivers out the race and with the situation as it is at the moment, with anyone outside the top five teams really struggling to get points, it could have left them again at the back of the Constructors’ standings.

“In the end, Gasly was able to get a point, that keeps them on two points for the season, but that’s an illustration of just how costly that crash could be.

“So we wait and see. I think it would be a big, big decision to drop someone like Esteban Ocon. It really rarely happens. You don’t see it happen.

“And remember, not that he’s unavailable to race, he has a five-place grid penalty for Canada, that would carry on to whoever got in that seat, of course.

“But it is, as I understand it today, still a potential outcome here. Bruno Famin is weighing up whether or not to drop Ocon for the next Grand Prix. It’s in a couple of weeks time. Let’s see if he does take that very, very big call.”

Ocon and Gasly have contributed a point each for Alpine so far in F1 2024.

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