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Esteban Ocon

Ocon pleased to 'play team game' for Alonso in Canada

With Valtteri Bottas closing in on Fernando Alonso in the latter stages of the Canadian Grand Prix, Esteban Ocon had a tactic to help his Alpine teammate.

Ocon Canada
To news overview © XPB Images

Esteban Ocon was pleased with how he "played the team game" to help Fernando Alonso in the latter stages of the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Frenchman and his Alpine teammate were running in P6 and P7 respectively, but Alonso – who experienced an issue with his car during the race – found himself being chased down by Valtteri Bottas.

As such, Ocon backed off a little in order to help Alonso to get a tow, and he believes that they managed this well.

"I think, from our side, we can be pleased with [the race]," Ocon told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I think the car felt a little bit more alive than it did in the last two days.

"There's still plenty for us to understand on why that was, but I think we maximised the potential overall, because the cars ahead were too quick, and the cars behind were a bit quicker than us, to be fair.

"Valtteri, at the end, was putting quite a lot of pressure on Fernando, and we tried to play the team game, for me to give the DRS [Drag Reduction System] to Fernando.

"We did that well, we executed perfectly. It's a big boost for us in the Constructors' Championship, and McLaren not scoring helps us quite a lot."

Ocon trusted Alonso not to pass

Ocon explained further of his tactic to help Alonso: "Fernando had this little issue with the engine, so he was losing a bit of power.

"So I was backing off to him [on] purpose to try and [help] him to get the tow from me to be able to defend from Valtteri.

"We did really good teamwork all together, and we managed to hold off [Bottas] just, because it was – from the mirror [when] I was looking in the race – a bit tight!"

With allowing Alonso to get closer to him, Ocon was not concerned that this might prompt the Spaniard to try to overtake him.

"I was trusting him and the team for that not to happen," he added.

"We have done that in the past, in Brazil last year, and I was not going to pass him when this happened.

"But if that means he can defend [from] Valtteri and not [allow] the overtake for Valtteri, then we can always switch back afterwards."

Alpine currently sit fifth in the Constructors' Championship with 57 points, only eight points behind McLaren in fourth.

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