Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer says both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon "let the team down" after multiple on-track clashes in the Brazilian Grand Prix Formula 1 Sprint race. On the opening lap, the teammates made contact at Turn 4 when Ocon squeezed Alonso off the track, before further contact on the start-finish straight broke Alonso's front wing. This caused the Spanish driver to pit while Ocon sustained damage which halted further progress through the field. Alonso actually finished ahead of Ocon in 15th, but was penalised by the stewards post-race and demoted to 18th and is due to start right behind the Frenchman for the main Grand Prix.
Szafnauer reaction to clashes
Speaking post-sprint, Szafnauer was left firmly unimpressed by his drivers but was keen to move on and focus on securing fourth in the Constructors' Championship. "We are extremely disappointed with the Sprint qualifying result, which has put us in a worse position on the grid for the main race," Szafnauer explained. "Frankly, both Esteban and Fernando must do a better job to compliment the fantastic efforts of everyone in the team by avoiding on-track incidents and compromising the entire team’s performance. "Both drivers have let the team down. I expect more from them in the race where we must do everything we can to recover some points from the weekend for the Championship. "We are in a very tight and competitive championship fight for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship; an objective for which over 1,000 staff are tirelessly working and striving towards. "We aim to ensure we go to Abu Dhabi next weekend in a position where we can reach our season goals. Sunday is a new day."
Alpine respond to social media abuse
In the hours following the Brazil Sprint race, Alpine issued a statement condemning online abuse towards "drivers, team members, fans or anybody online".
pic.twitter.com/qhtYPn0Gka — BWT Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) November 12, 2022