Formula 1 Racing

Alpine not ruling out F1 driver line-up change after latest Ocon/Gasly clash

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 A524

The French manufacturer nearly had both its cars out of the Monaco Grand Prix early on after Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly collided on the exit of Portier on the opening lap of the original start.

Ocon had made an optimistic lunge down the inside of Gasly on the entry to the corner and, as they exited, they clashed wheels.

The incident pitched Ocon into the air and badly damaged his car as it crashed back down, putting him out of the race. Gasly was able to continue and went on to score his first point of the season with a 10th-place finish.

Ocon later took full blame for the incident and apologised to the team. He was subsequently handed a 10-second penalty by the FIA, which will be converted to a five-place grid penalty for his next race.

Team principal Bruno Famin was clearly far from impressed about what happened, and he vented his anger from the pit wall as Canal+ interviewed him live.

He said: “We have a lot of damage on the car. The left-rear suspension is bent, the gearbox casing is damaged. We’re changing the whole gearbox, it’s a huge amount of work.

“This kind of incident is sad, 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.”

Asked how serious his response would be, one English translation of his words was: “We’re going to take drastic action.”

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 A524

Photo by: Erik Junius

That has been interpreted by some as a direct threat about benching Ocon, for one race or more, as punishment for what was felt to have been a needless collision.

However, the exact phrase Famin used in French – ‘trancher dans le vif” – is not something that can be translated directly into English.

What comes closest is ‘cut to the chase’ or ‘cut right into the core’, and effectively means making a definite call to get something done properly.

Famin did not issue any further public remarks about his stance on the incident or the subsequent action, beyond the official team press release on Sunday night.

There he said: “As a team, we will review and manage the incident between both cars behind closed doors. We must avoid situations that have the potential to compromise the team.”

However, understands that Famin is fuming about what happened, and thinks that this latest collision is the final straw to a situation that has been bubbling away all season.

The team has been…

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