Esteban Ocon makes Canadian GP status clear after ‘misinformed statements’ and ‘abuse’

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

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon.

Esteban Ocon made it clear that he will be racing at the Canadian Grand Prix as he slammed the response to his first-lap crash with Alpine team-mate Pierre Gasly in Monaco.

Attempting to overtake Gasly down the inside at Portier, the Alpine drivers collided, resulting in Ocon’s retirement from the race. Despite a public apology from Ocon, his furious Alpine team boss Bruno Famin threatened “consequences”, with a report later emerging that benching Ocon for the next race in Canada was a “serious” consideration.

Esteban Ocon issues heartfelt statement to confirm Canadian GP spot

Ocon has now taken to social media to speak out against the online “abuse” and “misinformed statements” which he has been subjected to since Monaco, assuring that he would be competing in Montreal and dispelling speculation over his ability to be a team player.

He wrote: “Much has been said in the aftermath of the Monaco Grand Prix. While I have received many messages of support, I have been deeply saddened by the amount of abuse and negativity that I have received online regarding my character, my driving and my career.

“Thanks to the support, hard work and sacrifices of many people, I’ve raced in over 140 grands prix so far since my debut in 2016. I have always been a tough competitor and, like most drivers, I’ve had my share of incidents.

“I have been lucky to race alongside talented and experienced team-mates, including race winners Daniel [Ricciardo], Checo [Perez] and Pierre and a double champion in Fernando [Alonso].

“As team-mates, we would often start races very close to each other which in some cases meant some tough battles on track, and sometimes contact.

“Of course, I have made honest mistakes. We are not robots; we are athletes pushing ourselves to the limit every day to achieve our dream of winning races. F1 is a sport where emotions run high and passions run deep. I see and feel this every weekend at the track and on social media… the good and the bad.

“But the misinformed statements and gross distortions that I have seen online in recent days about my ability to work with a team have been inaccurate, hurtful and damaging.

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“Since my first laps in motorsport, I have approached this sport with humility, professionalism and respect. These values were instilled in me from a very young age.

“While each driver chases individual glory, this will always be a team sport first and foremost. I have always followed the instructions I have been given and raced to achieve the maximum for and with my team.

“I took responsibility for the incident on lap 1 last Sunday and, despite my DNF, I am glad my team added a point to the tally in what has been a difficult start to the season for all of us.

“I respect Pierre as a team-mate and as a competitor. We have always worked collaboratively and professionally inside the team, and this will continue to be the case.

“There is no reward without risk in Formula One – and race starts are intense, even more so in Monaco when the opening lap can dictate your finishing result.

“In the end, we are all competitors and hard, fair racing throughout the field is what makes our sport so great and the main reason why I love this sport so much.

“I’m looking forward to competing in Montreal, in front of the fantastic Canadian fans, and to the exciting opportunities the future holds.”

Alpine sit P9 in the F1 2024 Constructors’ standings with just two points scored so far this season.

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