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Possible race ban for Ocon slammed as 'stupidity'

Possible race ban for Ocon slammed as 'stupidity'
© Reuters
It would be an act of "stupidity" if Alpine decided to bench Esteban Ocon after his first-lap incident with teammate Pierre Gasly at Monaco.

It would be an act of "stupidity" if Alpine decided to bench Esteban Ocon after his first-lap incident with teammate Pierre Gasly at Monaco.

Following Haas's revelation that they were in discussions with Ocon for a potential 2025 seat, Alpine's team boss Bruno Famin later expressed his outrage with the French driver for his botched overtaking maneuver on Gasly.

Famin pointed out that the 27-year-old had "compromised the team," and stated: "That's why we're going to take a tough decision and we will take it quickly."

Speculation is mounting that Ocon might be replaced at least for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix, possibly by reserve driver Jack Doohan, while Famin acknowledged in Monaco that Mick Schumacher could be a candidate for the team in 2025.

Gasly, who seems more likely to remain with the underperforming Enstone team next season, was visibly upset by Ocon's actions in Monaco, which he claims violated explicit team orders.

"We had clear instructions before the race on what to do," Gasly informed Canal Plus. "Whichever car qualified in the lead, the car behind was supposed to support throughout the race. That was the strategy.

"Unfortunately, this did not happen."

Gasly dismissed the notion that Ocon's actions were driven by desperation to maintain his career and secure a future contract.

"I don't want to answer that question," Gasly, aged 28, declared. "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 behaviour."

Nevertheless, amidst new reports of a potential suspension for Ocon in Montreal, one racer voiced strong opposition to such a move.

"I don't believe in such stupidity," stated Egor Orudzhev, a well-known Russian driver in open-wheel, Le Mans, and GT racing, during an interview with Championat. "Esteban is usually ahead of Pierre, so no one is going to push him aside.

"But obviously it was a bad manoeuvre on his part," he noted, regarding 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 concluded, referring to the FIA's decision to impose a five-grid penalty as well as two super license points on Ocon.

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Esteban Ocon at the Italian GP on August 31, 2023
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