Alpine explains the controversial decision to swap Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon’s positions on the final lap of the Japanese GP

Pierre Gasly was fuming after he was forced to swap positions with Esteban Ocon.


Alpine explains the controversial decision to swap Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon’s positions on the final lap of the Japanese GP

Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon (Via IMAGO)

Pierre Gasly received a request to swap his position with his teammate, Esteban Ocon, on the last lap at Suzuka. The former Red Bull driver didn’t hesitate to show frustration on and off the track. He was caught swearing and making aggressive gestures with his hand on the helmet camera. Gasly expressed his displeasure with this late decision on the post-race interview as well.

ADVERTISEMENT

Now Alpine’s interim team boss, Bruno Famin, has comfort defending the team’s decision, insisting that asking his drivers to switch places on the final lap of the Japanese GP was the right decision. Famin, who has taken control at Alpine after the departure of former team principal Otmar Szafnauer following the Belgian GP, defends the swap decision by stating that it was clear that the team’s objective of catching up with Fernando Alonso was not accomplished.

For having the best team result, we left Pierre in front of Esteban to have the possibility, even if it was small, of trying to catch Fernando. This was not possible [in the end], so to swap back is very normal,” said Bruno Famin, as reported by Motorsports.com.

Discover: Pierre Gasly ATTACKS the FIA for going easy on Kevin Magnussen, urges for ‘black and white’ rules

ADVERTISEMENT

Bruno Famin defended Pierre Gasly’s public outrage about the decision

After the race, Pierre Gasly expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to swap positions and said he couldn’t understand why the team made the call, as it didn’t alter their positions on the track. He said, “As a team, 10th and ninth or ninth and 10th is the same, but it was definitely not something I expected.”

Alpine (via: racingnews365)
Alpine (Via racingnews365)

In response to Gasly’s public expression of frustration over the team’s decision, Bruno Famin acknowledged that it’s typical for drivers to feel disappointed and express their frustrations immediately after a race.

He believed Gasly’s public comments were just a natural byproduct of this emotional reaction, similar to how other drivers might react in similar situations. “They are disappointed, it’s normal….We can talk for hours about the way he did it. But I’m just convinced it’s an epiphenomenon [byproduct].” concluded Bruno Famin.

Considering the chaotic past of the French driver duo, Alpine should have made the swap call maybe one lap earlier. He was forced to move aside for his teammate despite still being the fastest, and with the start-finish light just ahead of him, it is understandable why Gasly was frustrated.

ADVERTISEMENT

In case you missed it: