Pierre Gasly avoids potential race ban following collision with Esteban Ocon

Thomas Maher
Alpine's Pierre Gasly on track at the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne, April 2023.

Alpine's Pierre Gasly on track at the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne, April 2023.

Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon were called up before the race stewards in Australia, following a late race collision between the Alpines.

Both Alpine drivers were ordered to appear before the stewards following the race in Melbourne, after a collision between the pair.

Pierre Gasly had been fighting for fourth place on the final restart when he locked up into Turn 1. Narrowly avoiding hitting the rear of Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin, Gasly slid wide into the grass and gingerly resumed the track as he tried to gather things back up.

Ocon, attempting to pass Gasly around the outside, found himself with a closing wedge as Gasly tried to come back up to speed, and was left with nowhere to go as Gasly tried to keep position.

It resulted in a hefty collision between the two Alpines, with both ending up in the wall on the exit at Turn 2, costing the pair a big points score having both been in the top 10.

Of more concern to Alpine was the fact that Gasly is currently on 10 penalty points on his super licence. 12 points triggers an automatic race ban, meaning that, should Gasly have been found guilty for the collision and given the usual two penalty points for the transgression, he would have been facing a race on the sidelines for the next race in Azerbaijan.

Much to the relief of Gasly and Alpine though, the stewards decided that no further action would be taken against either driver.

“The stewards heard from the driver of Car ​10 (Pierre Gasly), the driver of Car ​31 (Esteban Ocon), a team representative and reviewed positioning/marshalling system data, video and in-car video evidence and determined that it was a first lap racing incident,” their report unto the incident began.

“Both cars recognised and accepted this as such. In the circumstances, we took no further action.”

Alpine’s no-score in Australia opened the door for McLaren to make a sensational leap up the standings to P5 in the Constructors’ Championship, bumping Alpine down a spot.

McLaren had not scored a point in the opening two rounds, but a P6 finish for Lando Norris and P8 for Oscar Piastri at his home race moves McLaren to 12 points for the season.