Alpine’s Esteban Ocon felt the stewards got it wrong at Monza after he was given a five-second time penalty and told to return a position.
It was an eventful opening to the Italian Grand Prix for Ocon as he and Sebastian Vettel made contact at the Della Roggia chicane, while before that he had been told to return a position to Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.
Neither decision sat well with Ocon, who compared his and Vettel’s battle to that of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc at that same chicane in 2019 when Hamilton was squeezed off the track by Leclerc but only a warning was issued.
“I don’t think it reflects the work we have done this weekend clearly,” Ocon told reporters of his single point after finishing P10.
“I think we have worked extremely hard on a difficult weekend and we lost out on some racing incidents which for once I disagree with. I disagree with the stewards and what happened.
“In the race, I got the five-second penalty for Seb. The same happened to Lewis [Hamilton] and Charles [Leclerc] in 2019. The track basically becomes more narrow and we had a little contact but no damage between the two cars.
“So that five seconds was quite costly in the end and also I had to give the position back to Nicholas [Latifi] at the start, which to me doesn’t feel correct because I didn’t really gain an advantage on that one.
“So it’s an eventful race. We managed to score points with both cars. We clearly extracted a good amount of performance from it, so it’s a bit frustrating but we will come back stronger at the next one.”
🏁 Chequered flag! 🏁
P8 // Fernando
P10 // Esteban
— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) September 12, 2021
Fernando Alonso led Alpine home with a P8 finish, a result which pleased the two-time former World Champion who felt Monza was a weak track for his team.
“I’m happy because this was an uncompetitive weekend, we were a little bit on the slow side on the grid,” Alonso explained.
“We qualified 13th and 14th on Friday so that was probably our potential here, and even with that we still scored points with both cars – so that only means we executed a good race, good strategy, good pit-stops, no mistakes along the way in the weekend.
“So happy to deliver the job again.”
Could the Italian GP have been better for Alpine?
With AlphaTauri scoring no points, Alpine needed to take full advantage at Monza.