Alpine's Bruno Famin addresses rumors of wanting to bench Esteban Ocon for the F1 Canadian GP

F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Practice
F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Practice

Alpine's Team Principal Bruno Famin has declined rumors that he wants to bench Esteban Ocon for the F1 Canadian GP. The race in Monaco saw Ocon crash with teammate Pierre Gasly on the very first lap. The collision infuriated Bruno because the drivers were instructed to not fight for positions on the first lap of the race.

Bruno Famin was furious at the incident, which led to Famin making a statement on the French broadcaster Canal+ that Esteban Ocon's actions would have consequences. Over the next week or so, rumors suggested that Ocon could be benched for Canada.

As it turned out, those rumors were not true, as the driver will race in Canada this weekend. There was a bigger development however and it was around the French driver's future with Alpine. Earlier in the week, the team announced that it was parting ways with the driver at the end of the season, ending a 5-year partnership.

When questioned about the reports of Esteban Ocon being benched for the Canadian GP, the Alpine team principal dismissed such suggestions, as he told Sky F1,

“I don’t know who talked about that, it has never been a point. We’re professional. Even if something bad happens, we talk, we discuss. We do what we need to do for improving the situation for the coming race. But benching him for a race, it has never been a point.”

Alpine boss claims Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly were ordered before the race

Alpine boss also made it clear that he had every right to be upset at what had happened because both drivers were given clear orders pre-race that they would not engage with each other.

Talking to the media, Famin clarified that the team got very lucky with the red flag; otherwise, Gasly would have been forced to the back of the grid, and hence, it would have been catastrophic for the team. He said,

“I never speak to the drivers in one to one for this kind of thing. When we have race instructions, we all speak all together to make sure everybody has the same information, everybody listens [to] the same information at the same time. But the instructions were clear before the race in Monaco, like it was clear before the previous one. It was very clear.”

He added,

“I think it was quite right to be upset, because for the team it was very bad and without the red flag we would have been Pierre last, because he would have to stop for the puncture. He would have finished the race last and yeah, it was a very bad thing.”

The future for Alpine as well as Esteban Ocon seems murky at this stage. The driver has not announced where he's going next, while the team is also trying to assess who would be the perfect replacement for the French driver.

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