Fernando Alonso saw no need for talks with Alpine Formula 1 teammate Esteban Ocon about his “extreme” defense in Hungary, but admitted he was “surprised” by the moves.
Ocon appeared to squeeze Alonso twice during the flight to the first corner on the opening lap in Hungary, prompting the Spaniard – who has since signed for Aston Martin in 2023 – to take off to avoid a collision.
Alonso then tried to get around the outside to the chicane of Turn 6 but was forced wide, leading to his radio message: “Never in my life have I seen a defense like Esteban. Never. Up the wall, Turn 2 and now Turn 6. Never.”
Immediately after the race, Alonso spoke about Ocon’s defensive moves: “He was pretty extreme.
“Of course I took off and nothing happened. It was probably a missed opportunity there. In the beginning I had a good launch, but really nothing to complain about.”
Alonso denied that there was a need for conversations with Ocon about the moves, believing there would always be enough respect between them to prevent a crash.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “We always try to race hard, but always give that one percent margin to have no incidents. We’ve never had one and never will.”
Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer was not concerned about the scrap, saying it was okay “as long as it’s fair and no damage has been done, that’s okay.”
The start of the Hungarian Grand Prix
Photo By: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
Ocon called the first lap fight with Alonso “just racing”, and said their subsequent bickering for position after the initial pit stops, which allowed Daniel Ricciardo to pass both Alpines at the same time, was the result of a slow stop and cold tires.
“We put ourselves in a difficult position at the pit stop, when we got delayed we got into the pits a little late, so the lap times on the fresh tire were better,” said Ocon.
“We should have come up with some margin, with some holes. I wasn’t necessarily trying to defend against Fernando, against everyone I had behind me, but on cold hards it was difficult to do that.”
The Alpine drivers’ two-season stint as teammates will come to an end at the end of the year following Alonso’s decision to sign for Aston Martin.
Confirmation of his departure on Monday has led to confusion over who will race alongside Ocon next year after Alpine announced the promotion of reserve driver Oscar Piastri, only for Piastri to deny signing for the team and declaring that he will not join Alpine in 2023. would race.
Alonso and Ocon eventually finished eighth and ninth respectively in Hungary, allowing Alpine to hold on to fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship en route to the summer break, four points ahead of McLaren.
“To score the same points as McLaren, we have to be proud and happy with the result,” said Alonso. “Probably we had higher expectations when we started fifth and sixth.”