How Esteban Ocon looks to have alienated himself at Alpine F1 following Sunday’s Monaco GP

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It’s been a remarkable few days following a dramatic and scary start to the Monaco Grand Prix.

Aside from the huge accident between Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hülkenberg that everyone — including photographers — thankfully walked away from without any serious injuries, Alpine has managed to get itself into the headlines for negative reasons once again.

With Pierre Gasly starting P10 and Esteban Ocon 11th, Alpine had a fantastic opportunity to score a point or a couple on Sunday afternoon if something happened to a car in front of both.

However, the deep-rooted rivalry between their French drivers turned out to be talking point come Sunday evening and throughout this week.

Post-race, Pierre Gasly revealed in his written media interview that there was clear instructions for the pair not to fight on the first lap as holding position was the priority to lock P10 down. Instead, it all kicked off.

Heading up the hill, Ocon had already tried a move into Massenet, leading to the 2021 Hungarian GP winner gently touching his teammate. Gasly seemed to be unaware of the attempt as he looked to set up a move on Albon.

After getting ahead of the Thai driver out of turn 4, Gasly and Albon went side-by-side through turns 5 and 6, with the Williams driver coming out on top. As the 28-year-old looked to get back in behind Albon, Ocon sniffed an opportunity.

He sent it into turn 7, and he was ahead at the apex. However, with a lack of space on exit and the barrier approaching, Gasly had no room to avoid an incident, clipped the left rear tyre of his teammate and Ocon went airborne, leaving his A524 with quite a bit of damage. Alpine could not fix the car during the red flag period.

Although Gasly did finish P10 in the end, Bruno Famin was absolutely livid following the collision.

Four days on and it’s still not definitely confirmed that Ocon will race for the team in Canada. Should be be benched, Australian Jack Doohan will take his seat for the weekend.

The 6-time F2 winner completed a test in the A522 at Zandvoort earlier this month as he looks to get a seat with Alpine next year. The Australian already ran in practice sessions for the Enstone-based squad in 2022 and 2023.

Respected French publication L’Equipe has stated that Alpine will drop Ocon for race if it is “validated internally and legally indisputable”.

Other short-term options being considered are a financial punishment, Gasly getting upgrades first, as well as receiving preferential strategy decisions.

Ocon’s time at Renault/Alpine looks set to end following five seasons together. This latest bust-up seems unrepairable.

The 27-year-old has two options continue in F1 if that’s the case: Haas or Sauber/Audi.

Williams boss James Vowles has no interest in signing the Frenchman due to concerns about Ocon’s lack of ability to be a team player. The Frenchman has now had run-ins with three different F1 stablemates (Perez, Alonso and Gasly), leading to multiple incidents on track. It must be said that most of them have not been his fault, though.

This follows a very strong start to 2024, where he has clearly outperformed Pierre Gasly, leading 6-2 in the qualifying head-to-head. The 27-year-old also got the first set of updates in China, showing his speed was valued by the team.

But following Sunday’s events — and despite apologising to the team both publicly and privately — Esteban Ocon seems to have isolated himself at Alpine.

UPDATE: Esteban Ocon will drive for Alpine in Montreal. However, his time at the team looks certain to come to an end by the end of this campaign.