“I was a bit disappointed,” Esteban Ocon feels there was ‘no need’ for Fernando Alonso’s critical comments post-Sao Paulo GP clash

“I was a bit disappointed,” Esteban Ocon feels there was ‘no need’ for Fernando Alonso’s critical comments post-Sao Paulo GP clash

Esteban Ocon (L) Fernando Alonso (R)

Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso had been tussling in the opening lap of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, making contact on turn 4 at the Descida da Lago, and then touched again on the start/finish straight, with Alonso touching Ocon’s right-rear tyre. The former had to change his front wing, while the latter suffered damage. The two eventually finished P17 (Ocon) and P18 in the sprint race.

Alonso had certainly not been happy with that at the time, exclaiming over the radio: “I lost the front wing, thanks to our friend.” in relation to Ocon. While he later accepted that it was a mistake in an Instagram post, he did not apologize to his teammate for the second incident (which he was handed a 5-place penalty for).

In a later interview, he also said that it had been like this with Ocon ‘all-year long’: “There was a lot of too-close [fighting], unfortunately. It’s far from ideal when it’s your teammate, but it’s been a little like this [with him] all year long.” and when asked if he will be speaking to his teammate regarding the incidents, Alonso said: “It’s one more race and then it’s over, finally.” referencing his impending move to Aston Martin.

Speaking to Formula 1, Ocon admitted that he was disappointed by his now-former teammate’s comments: “It’s no secret that I was disappointed in seeing his comments after the race. There was no need for some [of the] criticism that he has done. But I respect him a lot. I will forever respect him for what he has done on the track over the years. He’s a legend of the sport and that won’t change – but I was a bit disappointed.”

Also Read: “I didn’t want to be the one touching him in his last race!” Esteban Ocon looks back at ‘stressful but fun’ battle with Sebastian Vettel in Abu Dhabi

Esteban Ocon vs Fernando Alonso in 2023?

Esteban Ocon (L) Fernando Alonso (R)
Esteban Ocon (L) Fernando Alonso (R)

Next year, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso’s career paths will diverge. They will now be partnering with Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll, respectively. The first pairing means that there will be an all-French lineup at the (currently) only French team in Formula 1, but the two of them have had a fairly cold relationship for some time, which may potentially spell trouble, even if it doesn’t have to.

Currently, Alpine have the advantage by finishing P4 in the Constructor’s championship, with Aston Martin two places down on them in sixth. But there’s no reason Alonso’s team can’t catch them back next year. They already improved massively throughout the year, and for the opening laps in Abu Dhabi, Ocon and Sebastian Vettel had been tussling, with the former only just managing to keep Vettel behind.

The car performance of both teams seemed to be fairly level in Abu Dhabi, and Aston Martin were much better in the second half of the season. If they can continue in the same vein, they may have a shot at fighting in the upper rungs of the midfield, and perhaps in the future even further.

If Aston Martin provide Alonso with a good enough package (comparable to the Alpine) then the two former teammates will obviously be directly racing each other, and sparks may fly between them.

Also Read: Alpine F1 driver Esteban Ocon went on to talk about his soon to be Ex-Teammate Fernando Alonso ahead of the Abu Dhabi GP

Also Read: Fernando Alonso admits mistake but fails to give an apology to teammate Esteban Ocon after making contact at the Sao Paulo GP Sprint