Alpine considering benching Esteban Ocon after Monaco crash

Alpine considering benching Esteban Ocon after Monaco crash

Esteban Ocon crashed into teammate Pierre Gasly in the opening lap of Monaco last weekend much to the frustration of Alpine team principal Bruno Famin who teased major consequences for the Frenchman.

According to Sky F1 Pundit Craig Slater, Alpine team boss Bruno Famin has put serious consideration in benching Esteban Ocon for the Canadian Grand Prix following the Monaco incident where he crashed into his teammate.

Alpine had only one point heading into the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, but Pierre Gasly’s top-10 qualifying result gave the Enstone-based team the opportunity to double their total on Sunday. However, their hopes of turning Gasly’s P10 grid spot into a point were almost dashed when Ocon made an aggressive pass up the inside of his teammate at Portier on the opening lap.

The move resulted to contact and Ocon was launched into the air triggering a red flag as he suffered damage that was too significant to continue. Fortunately, Gasly’s car was relatively undamaged and proceeded to finish the race.

This did not sit well with team principal Famin, who immediately warned Ocon with “consequences” via French network Canal+.

“This kind of incident is sad,” the Alpine team boss said. “It’s exactly what we didn’t want to see. Esteban’s dive was completely out of place, it was exactly what we didn’t want to see, and there will be the appropriate consequences.”

Famin’s remarks sparked speculation that Ocon would be benched for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix, where he is scheduled to serve a five-place grid penalty. Alpine may take advantage of the situation to give either Jack Doohan or Mick Schumacher a tryout for a race seat as the two are tipped for an F1 berth next year.

Slater has taken action to make it clear that this is actually a threat for Ocon and not just a spur-of-the-moment rumour.

“Bruno Famin, he was actually on the pit wall with Canal+ who called him up immediately in the aftermath of that first-lap crash and Famin spoke angrily and he talked about taking a tough decision, which everyone has interpreted as benching Esteban Ocon for the next race in Canada,” Slater said.

“What I can say to you is that that is still a serious consideration for the Alpine boss, Bruno Famin. He will do what is best for the team. But if he decides that leaving Esteban Ocon out for a week as a demonstration of how team discipline needs to be, he is prepared to do that, but that decision has yet to be taken.

“There were face-to-face meetings between Ocon and Famin in the aftermath of the Grand Prix yesterday. Ocon apologised, both privately face to face and publicly afterwards via social media. So let’s see what happens.”

Gasly went on to secure a point in P10, bringing Alpine’s total up to two in what has been a dismal season for the team so far with their struggles leading to both Gasly and Ocon being linked to moves for F1 2025.

Gasly’s possible next stop has been speculated to be Williams, while Ocon has been linked with teams like Haas and Sauber which will rebrand to Audi in 2026. Slater believes that the exit chatter is fueled by the Monaco incident and any possible consequences for Ocon.

“I think what it does do is call into question whether Ocon will continue with the team beyond next year,” Slater continued. “We all cast up the fact that he was a childhood rival of the other Alpine driver Pierre Gasly and could the two happily coexist in the same team? Well, this is another example of them not coexisting happily.

“And the other thing is, as far as most observers were concerned, it was a needlessly optimistic attempt that Ocon made to pass.

“It could have cost the team any points in the Grand Prix, it could have taken both the drivers out the race and with the situation as it is at the moment, with anyone outside the top five teams really struggling to get points, it could have left them again at the back of the Constructors’ standings.

“In the end, Gasly was able to get a point, that keeps them on two points for the season, but that’s an illustration of just how costly that crash could be. So we wait and see. I think it would be a big, big decision to drop someone like Esteban Ocon. It really rarely happens. You don’t see it happen.

“And remember, not that he’s unavailable to race, he has a five-place grid penalty for Canada, that would carry on to whoever got in that seat, of course. But it is, as I understand it today, still a potential outcome here.

“Bruno Famin is weighing up whether or not to drop Ocon for the next Grand Prix. It’s in a couple of weeks time. Let’s see if he does take that very, very big call.”

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