Esteban Ocon

F1 News: Will benching Ocon teach him a necessary lesson?

(GMM) One driver thinks it would be “stupidity” if Alpine sidelined Esteban Ocon over his clash with teammate Pierre Gasly on the opening lap at Monaco. Others think he needs to be benched.

After Haas admitted over the weekend that talks with Ocon have taken place regarding 2025, Alpine boss Bruno Famin was livid with the French driver for messing up his attempt to pass the sister car.

Famin said the 27-year-old had “compromised the team”, adding: “That’s why we’re going to take a tough decision and we will take it quickly.”

It’s now speculated that Ocon could be benched for the forthcoming Canadian GP, with his cockpit perhaps to be filled by reserve driver Jack Doohan – with Famin admitting in Monaco that Mick Schumacher is an option for 2025.

31 Esteban Ocon, (FRA) Alpine F1 Team with his girlfriend Flavy Barla during the Monaco GP, 23-26 May 2024 Monte Carlo, Formula 1 World championship 2024.

Gasly, who appears more likely to stay with the struggling Enstone based team next year, was also furious for being “attacked” by Ocon in Monaco – a move that he says broke a clear team instruction.

“We had clear instructions before the race on what to do,” Gasly told Canal Plus. “Whichever car qualified in the lead, the car behind was supposed to help throughout the race. That was the strategy.

“Unfortunately, this did not happen.”

Gasly suggested that it’s no excuse that Ocon may have been motivated by keeping his Formula 1 career alive and securing a contract elsewhere for 2025.

“I don’t want to answer that question,” Gasly, 28, insisted. “He is a professional driver who needs to know what he can and cannot do, especially with your teammate.

“He is a good driver who knows what he is doing, so he just has to change. I’m disappointed for the 1200 people working for us in the team. We can’t afford this kind of behavior.”

However, when asked about the new rumors suggesting Alpine may force Ocon onto the sidelines for Montreal in a fortnight, one racing driver thinks that would be “stupidity”.

“I don’t believe in such stupidity,” Egor Orudzhev, a well-known Russian open-wheeler, Le Mans and GT driver told Championat. “Esteban is usually ahead of Pierre, so no one is going to push him aside.

“But obviously it was a bad maneuver on his part,” he added, referring to Ocon. “It doesn’t matter who is in the other car – teammate or not. It was a suicide attempt!

“But in my opinion, five penalty (grid) positions for this is just right,” Orudzhev, referring to Ocon’s FIA sanction including two super license penalty points, concluded.

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