“I did my job, the team didn’t” — Ocon unhappy about team orders to swap with Gasly at the end of F1 Canadian GP following “a mega race”

Photo Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team
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Esteban Ocon demonstrated his great driving skills during the Canadian Grand Prix race, managing to fight his way through the field from P18 into a points finish in P10. However, the Frenchman is far from happy coming from the weekend, feeling like he was robbed of even more points by his own team.

On lap 68 of the race, Ocon was still in P9 behind RB’s Daniel Ricciardo, with his Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly in tow. But how did it go from there?

“So, what happened is that I got asked to let Pierre go, two laps to go, to catch Daniel [Ricciardo] who was two and a half seconds in front. Inside the car, I called it and I said: there is no way this is possible, what do we do?” Ocon explained.

He added that “not even a Red Bull” could catch Ricciardo with that gap and such a limited time, so “it made no sense” and “it wasn’t the right decision”.

“The team asked me to let go, so I did my part as a team player. I lost the place on the second to last lap, and I am not happy with that because I did a better race. I should be in the front, but I showed once again that I do what’s best for the team.

“I always respect the instructions that I have been given, and I have shown that once more. It’s a shame that it has to end that way for the race.”

The boiling point was when at the end of the race, Ocon asked the team to switch him and Gasly back after his teammate wasn’t able to catch Ricciardo as predicted, but Alpine did not comply.

“[Being] a nice guy doesn’t always pay off in Formula 1 and that is bothering me a lot,” the French driver commented.

Before the very unfortunate and bitter end, Ocon showed the full extent of his potential — which can be crucial for him, as he now doesn’t have a confirmed seat for next year and needs to impress another team. After his controversial crash in Monaco, he and Alpine announced their mutual decision to part ways at the end of this season. So now, he has to look for a new contract.

“I hope that I will be able to announce something very soon, when the time is right, that is most important. At the moment it’s not the time and I keep focusing on what I have to do in the races… But yeah, as the race went, I’m happy that we were able to score points, we should have had more,” he remarked.

Talking about the race, Ocon revealed it was certainly not an easy way to the top ten as he had to deal with multiple issues throughout the day.

The key moment was not pitting behind the first safety car. It moved him up from P14 to P9, and he only lost one position to Albon who pulled off that breathtaking double move at the final chicance.

Following the switch to slicks, Ocon got that place back. It became P8 when he passed Tsunoda after the final safety car, but he ultimately lost out to Ricciardo and then Gasly through team orders.

“Yeah, we did a mega race, from last to inside the points, to P9 really, not P10. We even had a problem with derating in the middle of the race, and at the end. I couldn’t really get the battery to its full potential — we had this problem on the grid.

“Today I did my part of the job and the team didn’t,” Ocon concluded, disappointed.