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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Ocon denies Doohan’s FP1 outing is a punishment for Monaco F1 incident

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The Frenchman is leaving Alpine on the finish of this yr after he and the staff announced this week that their futures were better set apart.

That call got here shortly after a controversial collision with Gasly on the opening lap of the Monte Carlo race, which left his staff boss Bruno Famin warning that there would be consequences.

Intrigue about what motion the staff has taken, with their cut up for 2025 thought-about doubtless earlier than the Monaco crash, was additional fuelled when Alpine introduced that reserve driver Doohan would be taking Ocon’s car for opening observe in Montreal.

PLUS: The worrying messaging in Alpine’s F1 recovery plan

The timing of the choice is a break from the previous, with Alpine having beforehand waited till the ultimate races of the marketing campaign to make use of its rookie observe runs.

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However Ocon has laughed off experiences stating that Alpine slotting in Doohan in Montreal was punishment for what occurred – as he stated there have been clear aggressive causes for doing it right here.

“I’ve seen that [punishment suggestion] lots from the media, and it is not the case in any respect,” he stated. “As a staff we now have to offer two FP1s for rookies. And I am giving mine to Jack right here.

“It is a monitor that is going to be inexperienced to begin with, with the brand new tarmac, and it is fairly soiled in the meanwhile. So, issues must be cleaned up a bit bit.

“I acquired a five-place grid penalty as effectively, sadly for the race. So, my qualifying is lots much less necessary than typical. It is extra the race trim.

“And, from a staff viewpoint, we expect we’re going to have most likely a extra aggressive automobile later within the yr. So, for us, you recognize, to try this [run Doohan] early is an efficient factor, as a substitute of doing it in Mexico, Abu Dhabi, like we normally do.”

Jack Doohan, Reserve Driver, Alpine F1 Group, does a seat match

Picture by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Monaco fallout

Whereas the Monaco crash was an element within the timing of Ocon saying he was leaving the staff, it’s understood that it was not the only real cause for them ending their relationship.

As Ocon defined, discussions between him and Alpine had been happening for some time about their future collectively.

“We have been speaking with the staff for a number of months,” he stated. “Alpine is an enormous group, Renault is an enormous group, and it is the sort of staff that’s not taking choices on only a single race.

“We have been speaking. We have agreed mutually to come back to an finish, principally, on the finish of the contract.

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“I’ve spent 5 years inside this staff. We had some superb moments and [tougher] ones, however 5 years when it comes to System 1 world is a very long time. Undoubtedly. And, yeah, I am excited for the problem forward and excited to complete the collaboration on a excessive.”

Ocon stated that he and Famin had spoken at size since what occurred in Monaco and was clear that there was no lingering stress behind the scenes.

“I used to be on the manufacturing unit for regular preparation earlier than the weekend, and had a chat with Bruno,” he stated. “We had been simply speaking about a number of issues and there isn’t any awkward second, and there’s no harm between {our relationships} altogether.

“Every thing has been mentioned. We transfer on, and we hold racing to try to do the most effective we will.”

Requested if there can be a change of method in how he and Gasly race one another, Ocon stated: “As a driver and with the staff I’ve all the time adopted the directions I have been given to race. So, there have been no modifications.”

Watch: The Way forward for System One – First Have a look at The 2026 F1 Rules

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