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Alpine F1 Team

Alpine insist Ocon podium on merit despite 'a little help from Ferrari'

Ocon was promoted to third on the grid after a penalty for Ferrari driver Leclerc in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Ocon podium Monaco
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Alpine Sporting Director Alan Permane has insisted Esteban Ocon's Monaco Grand Prix podium was deserved on merit despite a "little help from Ferrari".

Frenchman Ocon finished third in both qualifying and the race having been promoted from fourth on Saturday when Charles Leclerc was penalised for impeding McLaren's Lando Norris in the tunnel during Q3.

Leclerc's Scuderia teammate Carlos Sainz was a thorn in Ocon's side for much of the 78-lap event before making a mistake at Mirabeau as the rain came down.

"It started off with a decent car on Friday morning and, honestly, it was one of those weekends where everything we did to it from his feedback improved it a little bit," Permane told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"He had a fantastic qualifying, it was set up from there - a little bit of help from Ferrari, of course.

"It was a result completely on merit."

The team has come under intense pressure in recent weeks after CEO Laurent Rossi labelled the start to the year as 'amateurish', with Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer in particular under fire.

But a defiant Permane explained: "Baku was very difficult and I said after the Baku race that it was a difficult race, we put our hands up, we made mistakes and we didn't do a good enough job.

"But we are a strong team. We showed in Miami we could bounce back and we have shown [in Monaco] that we can bounce back even stronger.

"So we will go to Barcelona with our heads held high and try to do the same again."

F1 2023 Monaco Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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