At the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, Esteban Ocon would have hoped to have got his season off to a good start and get one over on his new teammate Pierre Gasly.
This was not the case for the Frenchman however, as Gasly performed a stunning P20 to P9 drive while Ocon was forced to DNF.
The Bahrain Grand Prix was a nightmare for Ocon, as he picked up 20 seconds’ worth of penalties before the team decided to retire the car.
Ocon was given a five second penalty for being slightly out of his grid slot at the start of the race and to make matters worse, he was given an extra ten seconds for failing to serve the first penalty correctly during a pit stop.
Having 15 seconds added to his time may have seemed bad enough but it was then revealed that Ocon had gone 0.1kph over the 80kph speed limit in the pit lane, resulting in another five second penalty.
Former team owner Eddie Jordan has sympathised with the Frenchman following his Bahrain disaster, urging the FIA to be slightly more lenient with these penalties.
“He got it wrong, but there has to be some form of leniency,” he said on the Formula for Success podcast.
“If you watch a rugby game or a soccer game or any hardcore professional game, you kind of get a little bit of a warning.
“I just feel that it was grossly unfair in the first race, because we saw the distance that he was out [the grid slot]. It was marginal at the best of times and I think it was too severe. And then the knock on, the catastrophic effect.
“Who actually clicks the clock? It is a decision, the team decision. They wouldn’t have let him go before the five seconds but somebody else said it was within the five seconds. Where is the opportunity to protest that?”
Alpine would have hoped to have walked away from the Bahrain Grand Prix with more than two points, as the team look to challenge for the best of the rest title once again this season.
With Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon in the cars, the future is bright for Alpine, but these silly mistakes must be cut out if the team want to realise their potential.