Esteban Ocon has said it’s “not really relevant” whether or not Pierre Gasly was angry at team orders on Sunday, because Alpine were simply following a long-standing rule.
Gasly was allowed by Ocon into P9 to try and chase further up the road, but because he was unable to make enough headway and overtake Fernando Alonso in eighth, the call came from the pit wall to swap both Alpine drivers back again at the chequered flag.
This prompted a furious response from Gasly, who was several seconds up the road from Ocon at this point, who argued that his superior pace should have entitled him to keep the position.
Esteban Ocon: Pierre Gasly speed ‘not really relevant’ as team orders imposed
But while Gasly gesticulated and fumed as he slowed to allow his team-mate back past again, dropping him to 10th place, Ocon revealed that the move from Alpine is a part of a long-standing agreement that stretches throughout his time at the time.
Simply, if a driver is allowed to pass to try and attack a car in front, if they cannot get by, as was the case with Gasly, the car that was ahead before is able to retake the position before the chequered flag.
“It’s not really relevant, because you need to fight your place on track,” Ocon told media after the race, quoted by Motorsport Week.
“You can be as fast as you want, if you don’t make the move, then you never know who is going to be in front. And before that, I was in front.
“Obviously we will discuss that to see what we could have done better, clearly as a team.
“If you look at Brazil in 2021, that was the same with Fernando [Alonso]. If you look at Sochi with Daniel [Ricciardo], that was the same, I gave the position to Daniel the other way which I did to Fernando in Brazil.
“It’s always been a team order that way that I’ve known, and I wasn’t surprised that this was the case.”
Gasly currently leads Ocon by eight points in the Drivers’ standings with six races to go, with both Alpine drivers having scored a podium apiece this season at Zandvoort and Monaco respectively.