“Shots fired” as Alpine told they’ve “got a job on” to manage Esteban Ocon

“Perhaps a bit of paranoia creeps in. You don’t know who your mates are in the team"

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Monaco Grand Prix,
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1…

Alpine have been warned about the possible difficulty of managing the outgoing Esteban Ocon for the rest of the year.

Days after it was confirmed that the under-fire Ocon will exit Alpine at the end of this season, he was involved in a flashpoint with his employers in Canada.

Ocon disputed a team orders call, which he followed, to allow teammate Pierre Gasly through in the closing stages of the F1 Canadian Grand Prix.

Ocon called the request “nonsense” but gave Alpine “the benefit of the doubt”.

F1 Nation podcast host Tom Clarkson said: “He thinks he has been too nice? Shots have been fired!

“It was a very difficult weekend for Esteban. Two difficult weekends - the crash with Pierre in Monaco, the harsh conversations he had with the team, the news that he had coming to Montreal that he would no longer be staying with the team.

“So it was difficult. Then, the car wasn’t great in the dry over one lap.

“He’s on the back foot going into the grand prix. He had mechanical issues on the grid. I remember walking past the car, it was surrounded by mechanics, there were questions whether he’d even start the grand prix.

“Given all of that, he had a brilliant race!

“When he says ‘I am too nice’ it’s a marker in the sand that ‘I am not going to do it again’.”

Natalie Pinkham replied: “When the dust settles I hope he reflects on how well he did.

“You’ve got to remember that he’s trying to sell himself now to other teams to try to secure his Formula 1 future.

“I find it so interesting - the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Esteban, Carlos Sainz - when you know you’re leaving a team, how the mind-set shifts.

“Perhaps a bit of paranoia creeps in. You don’t know who your mates are in the team, and how they respond to you.

“The dynamic changes with your teammate. The sharing of information changes.

“Look at Adrian Newey, he has basically been alienated from within.

Once you make that announcement, everything changes, and it’s how you manage it from within.

“Bruno Famin has got a job on his hands to manage his two drivers.”

Clarkson added: “It looks like Gasly will stay there so they will include him in technical conversations, but exclude Ocon.”

Ocon caused a furore in Monaco last month when he collided with teammate Gasly, dismaying Alpine.

Alpine are now on the lookout for a new driver for 2025 while Ocon must seek employment elsewhere.

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