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Esteban Ocon

Ocon slated by FIA stewards and hit with huge grid penalty after Gasly crash

Esteban Ocon was involved in a first-lap collision with Alpine team-mate Pierre Gasly in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Ocon Monaco
To news overview © XPBimages

Esteban Ocon has been slapped with a five-place grid penalty and two penalty points for his first lap collision with Alpine team-mate Pierre Gasly in the Monaco Grand Prix. 

At Portier, Ocon lunged up the inside of the sister Alpine as their wheels interlocked, throwing the Frenchman high into the air as the race was red-flagged following a huge accident involving Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen earlier in the lap. 

Ocon returned to the pits, but the damage on his A524 was too severe to continue, with Gasly taking the restart and in 10th on a weekend Alpine has shown flashes of pace in what has been a troubled start to the season. 

French TV outlet Canal+ has reported that Alpine boss Bruno Famin has strongly voiced his displeasure at the incident to Ocon, who was the fourth retirement on the opening lap. 

The stewards felt that the move was "overly ambitious" and that Ocon was "wholly to blame", with the standard 10 second time penalty awarded.

However, as he did not finish the race, this has been converted to a five-place grid drop for Canada. Ocon also now has three penalty points on his licence.

Reflecting on the incident, Ocon felt the "chaotic" nature of the first lap played a part.

"We tried to put the car back in the garage to repair the damage and unfortunately there was too much damage and we were not able to go out again," Ocon told media including RacingNews365.

"It was a chaotic first lap, and I hope that the team can score some points later on.

"We will review everything for sure, and try to do better for the next one. 

"I know you have to take care, but at the same time, we are doing 120% to be trying to get inside the top 10, for me and Pierre.

"We push the limit a lot in qualifying and mistakes happen. That's it."

Ocon apologised to the team for the incident, taking responsibility for the accident. 

"Today’s incident was my fault, the gap was too small in the end and I apologise to the team on this one," he wrote on social media. 

"Hoping for a deserved points-finish for the team today."

Reflecting on the damage sustained, Ocon described that the gearbox was the main area of concern.

"The gearbox was the biggest damage and we would have been able to come back and be in P11 [without it]," he added.

"I had [a big impact] in Budapest [in 2023 after another first lap collision with Gasly] and felt it for a week, and I think that one was better, but the difference here was that the suspension broke.

"That probably gave me some elasticity on the landing.

"The back is okay, but it is just an unfortunate incident, and it is not good to be retiring the car."

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