Alpine boss reveals what Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon said after Melbourne crash

Pierre Gasly was fifth for most of the Australian Grand Prix and was firmly in podium contention.

After what was looking set to be an incredibly positive Australian Grand Prix for Alpine, the Enstone-based team left Melbourne without any points, after Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon crashed into each other on the penultimate lap.

Gasly had been enjoying an excellent race at the Albert Park Circuit and found himself in fifth for the vast majority of the race, whilst Ocon sat in 10th prior to a late red flag.

A crash for Kevin Magnussen in the closing stages of the race saw a red flag flown, with the race having been restarted with just two laps remaining.

A standing start took place following the red flag, with “chaos” having unfolded at the opening two corners.

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Several drivers went wide at the opening corner including Gasly, who then drove into the path of Ocon at Turn Two whilst trying to get back onto the racing line.

The pair both crashed into the wall on the outside of the corner heavily, ending their afternoon’s.

Whilst Gasly looked more at fault, Szafnauer revealed that both drivers apologised after the crash.

“Well, they each apologised, so they each thought they played a role in it,” said Szafnauer, as reported by

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“It was just chaos out there; had Pierre not gone wide in Turn 1 – but a lot of people did – then I think he would have been further up the road.

“Esteban at the same time just followed Tsunoda through on the racing line and Pierre didn’t see him and came over to the racing line and just hit him. Which is… unfortunate.”

As a result of scoring no points, Alpine slipped to sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, with McLaren having capitalised amongst all the carnage.

It was certainly a disappointing way for Alpine’s race to end given that they were on-track for a big points haul, something the Alpine boss admit is “a shame”.

“It’s a shame that they came together. As far as trying to blame one or the other, I don’t think that’s the right thing to do; the right thing to do is to learn from it. There’s so much chaos there and you’ve got to make quick decisions,” added Szafnauer.

“If you look at the onboard and the replay, Tsunoda gets through, Esteban [Ocon] tries to follow him. You don’t know what Pierre’s going to do and Pierre’s just trying to get back to the racing line, it’s not like he’s looking in the mirrors and seeing somebody and saying ‘oh I’m going to block him’, he’s looking the other way, getting on the racing line thinking no one is there.”

Neither Gasly nor Ocon were awarded a penalty after the race for causing the incident, with the stewards’ having put it down as a racing incident.

As a result, Gasly avoided two penalty points and a race ban, something many expected him to get after the collision.

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Szafnauer was pleased with the stewards decision and agreed that it was simply a racing incident, with it being something neither driver could “avoid”.

“It was truly a racing incident,” Szafnauer agreed.

“Who’s to blame for something like that? Hindsight you look back at it and say great, shouldn’t have crashed but there are times you can’t avoid it, things happen in front of you where you have a decision of ‘I either run into this or run into that’ because you can’t avoid it.”