Esteban Ocon struck down by illness ahead of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Michelle Foster
Esteban Ocon wearing an Alpine hat. Bahrain. March 2023

Esteban Ocon wearing an Alpine hat.

Esteban Ocon will miss Thursday’s media commitments for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix having been advised to rest after coming down with an illness.

Having been one of the standout drivers at last Saturday night’s Grand Prix in Las Vegas where he took the chequered flag in fourth place, Ocon’s chances of overhauling his team-mate Pierre Gasly in the standings have suffered a blow.

The Frenchman has reportedly been ill all week, and will now sit out Thursday’s media sessions to give him more time to recover.

Alpine expect Esteban Ocon to be at the track ‘as soon as possible’

Alpine said in a brief statement: “Esteban Ocon has been feeling unwell this week and has been advised to rest by his doctors.

“Although his condition has improved as of this morning, he will miss this afternoon’s media duties at the circuit.

“We expect him to be back at the track as soon as possible.”

The upside for Ocon is he doesn’t need to get into the car until 5pm for the second practice on Friday as Jack Doohan is already scheduled to drive his A523 in the opening session.

Ocon heads into the final race of the season just four points behind Gasly in the battle to the best-placed Alpine driver. recommends

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He said in the team’s preview for the race that while it has been a long and taxing season, he’s hoping to end it on a high note.

“It’s definitely been a long and intense season for everyone and I know we are looking forward to the time off to rest and recover ahead of next year,” he said.

“Our full focus is now on performing well this weekend, carrying the momentum through from Las Vegas, and ending the season on a high. The Yas Marina Circuit is a track we enjoy and know well.

“Of course, I’ll be sitting out of FP1 this weekend as Jack will be in the car and I am sure he will do a great job.

“We are all motivated to have another positive weekend, wanting to end on a high note and give some extra boost to everyone during the winter season.

“We’ll keep our heads down this weekend and focus on ourselves as we aim for a smooth weekend and to end the season with more points in the bag.”

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