Alpine celebrates, Esteban Ocon does not

Alpine returns from the abyss of Formula 1 with a double-point result at the Canadian Grand Prix. Both cars started the race from the back quarter of the field and fought their way into the top 10. Pierre Gasly took ninth place. Teammate Esteban Ocon finished tenth. With the three points from Montreal, Alpine moves up to P8 in the constructors’ championship, overtaking Williams. But not everyone in the team is in the mood to jump for joy…

Gasly is certainly happy with the result in Canada. “As a team, we can be very happy with the result, as both cars finished in the points for the first time this year,” said the Frenchman happily. “The simulations didn’t actually show that this was achievable.”

There was another reason why scoring points seemed impossible. On the first lap of the race, Gasly had contact with the Red Bull of Sergio Perez. The Mexican skidded on the wet road and touched Gasly’s right rear axle with his left front axle. The Alpine spun into the Red Bull, but both cars were able to continue. However, Perez complained about damage to his RB20. You can read what the Mexican has to say about his accident here: Next F1 crisis after contract extension?

Gasly got off lightly. “I had contact with Sergio at the beginning of the race and lost a few positions,” said the Alpine driver. “After that, we concentrated on fighting our way back to the front. We made some good and opportunistic decisions. I switched to the hards early on, while the rest of the field was still on intermediates. In hindsight, we should have waited another lap, but in the end it worked out well, so we were able to drive a decent pace and regain positions that we had lost at the beginning.”

Start accident with Pierre Gasly (Alpine) and Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
Contact with Perez – Gasly got off lightly, Photo: LAT Images

Esteban Ocon angry about team order: I’m too nice

So far so good. But for Esteban Ocon, Alpine’s surprising points result also left a bitter taste in his mouth. “We started from the back and managed to get into the points with both cars. That’s great for the team. But I’m not super happy,” said the Frenchman.

Why? The answer is team orders. Four laps before the end of the race, Ocon was overtaken by Daniel Ricciardo and slipped to P9. Shortly afterwards, the radio called for him to let his teammate pass. Gasly was supposed to try to catch up with the Racing Bull. At this point, Ocon was having problems with his car, which meant he could no longer use the full power of his battery.

The Frenchman, who announced after the Monaco GP that he would no longer drive for Alpine in 2025, initially reacted angrily to the team’s instructions on the radio. When asked whether the positions would be swapped back at the end of the race, there was no clear answer. Nevertheless, Ocon eventually let Gasly pass.

“I did my part of the work. I was a team player and a nice guy,” said the 27-year-old. However, he is not particularly happy about this fact. “I’m too nice,” he says angrily. “We had to let Pierre go in the end, which is what I did. I always followed the instructions I received from the team.”

Ocon does not think it makes sense to swap cars so close to the end. “We wouldn’t have caught up with Daniel anyway, but that was the reason for the decision,” said the Frenchman. “We were 2.5 seconds behind Daniel. Not even a Red Bull can make up that much in one lap. It wasn’t fair and not the right decision. I obviously lost a point because of it. Being too nice is not the right attitude in Formula 1. But I showed that I’m a team player, and that’s what matters. I’ve experienced tougher times and I’ll keep pushing.”

Pierre Gasly’s view: Team orders not followed quickly enough

Gasly sees the situation from a different perspective. “We tried to get the maximum out of the team and wanted to attack Daniel at the end of the race by swapping positions,” said the 28-year-old. “At the end of the race I was faster with the hard tires and was right behind Daniel.”

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly
Gasly couldn’t get past Ricciardo, Photo: LAT Images

There was no overtaking maneuver for P8. Maybe it was even Ocon’s fault? “The change took a little longer than we would have liked,” says Gasly. “If he had given me the position earlier, I would have had more time with DRS and would have had a better chance.” However, the Alpine driver does not want to make any major accusations. “It’s not a big deal,” assures Gasly. “I still think we did a great job as a team. The three points are very valuable.”

On Thursday before the Canadian GP, ‚Äč‚ÄčEsteban Ocon denied an Alpine crisis and stressed: Everything is fine with Pierre Gasly & Co. Read more here.

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