Fernando Alonso hints that he is expecting his partnership with Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon to “finally” end after the pair ruined each other’s races with a collision at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix Sprint.
Armed with a car that has shown strong pace throughout the weekend and in solid starting positions of Friday (Ocon) and Saturday (Alonso), Alpine looks well positioned to deliver another blow. into McLaren in the fight for fourth place in the constructors’ championship.
However, the pair collided twice in the first round and both cars were damaged leaving Alonso finishing in 15th and Ocon in 18th, pointless and starting in position. poor for Sunday’s extended race.
“(It’s) not ideal when you hit the first lap of the sprint because it’s too short to go back,” said Alonso.
“On the plus side, the pace today was very good, really close to the leaders. P15 we start tomorrow and if we have this pace. We can score tomorrow. “
Ocon forced Alonso into the wrong direction when the Spaniard tried to go over the outside of Round 4 in the opening round, causing him to lose control as he drove over the curb and collided with both of them in a light collision.
That’s part of the regret, but the couple didn’t learn their lesson. In the closing stages of the first round, Alonso again tried to make a pass from the start of the home half, but the apparent confusion caused them to collide again, this time with more significant damage. and eventually cause both to end up outside the points.
The Alpine duo were called to meet the managers after the race, with Alonso ultimately believed to be at fault on the second collision, as he was awarded a penalty for the second time which sent him down to the second position. 18th place and raised Ocon to 17th place.
Speaking ahead of that decision, Alonso, who will leave Alpine to join Aston Martin at the end of the season, criticized his teammate when he referred to incidents earlier in the season.
Asked if he had spoken to Ocon, Alonso said: “No, not really.”
“I don’t need it. It’s one more race and it will be over eventually.
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November 13, 2022, 4:30 pm
“It was very close to the wall in Jeddah, near the wall in Budapest, today in Turn 4, now here.
“That’s how things go. Sometimes it’s very competitive in the team.”
Ocon: Alonso will be calm for the race
Ocon, also speaking before the manager’s ruling, downplayed the incidents, insisting Alonso would calm down in time for Sunday’s race, if the Spaniard had not already done so.
“Unfortunately for the team what happened,” Ocon said. “We were in such a good position and now we are behind with a lot of work to do tomorrow.
“So it’s important to work together tomorrow to get back in the field.
“Unfortunately what happened in round one. I was trying to attack the McLaren, I crossed my line in Round 4 and Fernando appeared out of nowhere outside and we touched. together.
“From then on, my race was almost over.
“I’m pretty calm. If not, he’ll stay tomorrow.”
Alpine condemns ‘unacceptable’ online abuse
Later on Saturday night, Alpine released a statement condemning the online response to incidents between their drivers.
“Whatever happens on the track, there is absolutely no reason to make hateful, abusive or malicious comments aimed at our drivers, team members, fans or really anyone online,” the statement said.
“Out of all the comments we received on our social media channels during and after the Sprint qualifiers today, we received 882 malicious comments, 162 of which were comments. This is completely unacceptable.
“Unfortunately, what we have seen today is not an isolated incident. We continue to see hate and discrimination online, and as a group, will not tolerate it. stuff for this.
“We will take action against individuals or groups that produce or disseminate social media posts that contain or encourage online abuse of our drivers, team members, and fans.” .”
Vettel understands after Stroll’s ‘naughty’ act
Alonso and Ocon weren’t the only teammates to clash during Saturday’s Sprint, with Aston Martin duo Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll also getting in the way.
Vettel, who seems to be faster than Aston Martins, was challenging Stroll for 11th in the ninth round when the Canadian pressed him to the grass in his run to Round 4.
Vettel, who will retire from F1 at the end of the season, was fortunate to retain control of his car and get back on track, which he did before overtaking Stroll shortly after.
“It was naughty to drive from Lance Stroll, it was too much, too much,” Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle said in commentary at the time.
The managers agreed, giving Stroll a 10th penalty, which would see him drop from 12th to 17th in the final standings, while also giving him three penalty points. on dangerous driving license.
Despite the managers clearly ruling in his favor, Vettel, who ended up finishing in ninth place out of points, offered a measured assessment of the incident.
“It’s obviously split seconds,” he said. “I went inside and the gap closed and it was really narrow and I went off the track, which was very difficult to recover from, I was almost stuck sitting on the board but luckily Luckily I was back.
“Then we can work together and I can use the speed I have in the car.
“It’s a fine line. You’re fighting for your position. Obviously, it’s important to defend, on the other hand it’s always trying to consider if you’re losing more than you’re gaining. (by fighting or not).
“Plus, we’re obviously trying to work together, so I think in the end we were able to do better today, both of us, to try to get a better position. for the team.”
Three penalty points awarded to Stroll bring his current total to eight points, just four points short of the 12-point limit that got him a one-race ban.
Speaking before the penalty point ruling, the Canadian gave only a limited response when asked about the incident.
“I have to watch it again. I haven’t actually watched the video,” he said. “So maybe I didn’t leave enough space.”