Formula 1 Racing

Ocon defends his driving after ‘hurtful abuse’ over Monaco GP crash with Gasly · RaceFans

Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Monaco, 2024

Esteban Ocon has defended his driving following criticism over the first-lap collision with his team mate which put him out of the last race.

The two Alpine drivers tangled at Portier on the first lap of the Monaco Grand Prix when Ocon tried to overtake Pierre Gasly. While Gasly was able to continue and scored a point in the race, Ocon retired.

Ocon said he had been “deeply saddened by the amount of abuse and negativity that I have received online regarding my character, my driving, and my career” since the crash on Sunday.

He said he has “always been a tough competitor” and “like most drivers, I’ve had my share of incidents.” However he rejected claims he has a tendency to collide with his team mates.

“I have been lucky to race alongside talented and experienced team mates, including race winners Daniel [Ricciardo], Checo [Perez] and Pierre [Gasly], and a double champion in Fernando [Alonso]. As team mates, we would often start races very close to each other which in some cases meant some tough battles on track, and sometimes contact.”

Alpine team principal Bruno Famin held Ocon responsible for the collision when he spoke during the race and said there would be “consequence” for it. Ocon accepted he has “made honest mistakes” at times.

“We are not robots,” said Ocon. “We are athletes pushing ourselves to the limit every day to achieve our dreams of winning races. F1 is a sport where emotions run high and passions run deep. I see and feel this every weekend at the track and on social media… the good and the bad.

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“But the misinformed statements and gross distortions that I have seen online in recent days about my ability to work with a team have been inaccurate, hurtful, and damaging.”

Ocon stressed that, while he accepted the blame for the collision, he has “always followed the instructions I have been given and raced to achieve the maximum for and with my team.”

“I took responsibility for the incident on lap one last Sunday and, despite my DNF [did not finish], I am glad the team added a point to the tally in what has been a difficult start to the season for all of us,” he added. “I respect Pierre as a team mate and as a competitor. We have always worked collaboratively and professionally inside the team, and this will continue to be the case.”

“There is no reward without risk in Formula 1 – and race starts are intense, even more so in…

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