Esteban Ocon slams Alpine over team orders at Canadian GP

Esteban Ocon slams Alpine over team orders at Canadian GP

Esteban Ocon has slammed Alpine’s team orders at the Canadian Grand Prix after he was ordered to give way to teammate Pierre Gasly.

Tensions at the Alpine squad escalated once again at the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday after Esteban Ocon was infuriated by his team’s orders to switch drivers during the final laps of the race.

The Frenchman—who’s had a strained relationship with Pierre Gasly since the latter joined the squad in 2023—lost world championship points to his fellow countryman following a directive to pull aside for his teammate to pass during the final laps of Sunday’s race.

Upon hearing the call over the radio, Ocon at first refused to let Gasly past him, telling his team to “forget it,” but with two laps remaining he hesitantly slowed down and it was too late for Gasly to go after Daniel Ricciardo in eighth.

However, he was unwilling to hand the position back to Ocon, who had to settle for a single point in 10th place, which was still a decent effort considering he had started in 18th.

Below is a full transcript of the radio traffic between Ocon and his race engineer Josh Peckett in the crucial closing laps.

Josh Peckett (JP): Esteban, we have to let Pierre through, please. Gap behind him two seconds to Hulkenberg.

Esteban Ocon (EO): What’s the reason?

JP: We need to try and attack Ricciardo.

EO: Yeah, forget it!

JP: Okay, that is a request. Got three laps to go.

EO: Are you giving the place back after or not?

JP: That’s what I’m working on.

EO: Okay, I let him by. Understood.

(Ocon lets Gasly through on Lap 69 of 70 at Turn 8).

JP: Esteban, the cars are not swapping places. Push to the end, please.

EO: Yeah, amazing. Thank you, amazing. Thank you

JP: Ok, radio is still on.

EO: Ok, mate. Yeah, yeah, you’re good. Ok. Yeah, Ok. No comments. Too nice. Too nice. Ok, mate.

JP: Ok, listen. We still came 10th. We’ve still got a point, Ok? It’s a long way to go yet. Ok, I know, I know, I know. I know it’s frustrating.

EO: I’ve done what I had to do, which is the most important, but you guys didn’t do what you had to do. That’s it.

JP: What I’ll say is we came P10 and we started right at the back with very little hope of getting anything out of this. And most of that is down to the fact that you drove very well and kept a cool head through difficult conditions. So you should be very pleased with yourself for that. And thank you for doing that as well.

The 27-year-old was incensed with Alpine’s move to give Gasly priority, accusing them of not doing their job as he gave an explanation as to why he didn’t initially let his teammate through.

“I think today I’ve done my part of the job. I don’t think the team did their part of the job,” Ocon said after the race.

“I got asked to let Pierre go, two laps to go, to [chase] Daniel, who was 2.5 seconds in front. Inside the car, I called it and I said ‘there’s no way it’s possible. So what do we do?’ And the team asked me to let him go.

“So I do my part as a team player. I lose the place on the second to last lap and I’m not happy with that, because I did a better race [than Gasly] and I should be in front. But I show once again that I do what’s best for the team.

“I respect the instructions that I’ve been given, always, and show that once more, and it’s a shame that it has to end that way.”

This comes after Ocon and Alpine confirmed they will be parting ways at the end of the season after five years working together. Whether or not such acts of rebellion will be tolerated by Enstone remains unknown, particularly in light of his scuffle with team boss Bruno Famin in Monaco.

Famin bashed Ocon for his crash with Gasly in Monaco and threatened him with “consequences,” but later denied that Ocon would be replaced by reserve driver Jack Doohan for the next race.

Ocon believes he has been the perfect teammate after taking the blame for that particular incident and serving a five-place grid penalty.

“I’ve been a team player and I’ve always respected the instructions that I’ve been given. Always. It’s always been the case,” he said. “I showed it once more today. But yeah, [being] the nice guy doesn’t always pay off in Formula 1, and that is bothering me a lot. I hope things will turn around at the end of the season.”

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