Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon have chosen to remain discreet regarding Alpine’s recent on-track incident during the Japanese Grand Prix, which left Gasly fuming after being ordered to yield his position to Ocon on the final corner in Suzuka.
The circumstances surrounding this contentious manoeuvre appeared to be mired in miscommunication, with both drivers harbouring different interpretations of the team’s instructions.
Gasly, waving his frustration at the team, was vocally displeased with the situation.
However, with time to reflect on the events, Gasly adopted a more composed demeanour when addressing the matter in the lead-up to the Qatar Grand Prix.
“Everything has been discussed, and I’ll leave it there,” Gasly initially stated, choosing not to delve further into the topic.
When pressed about the “rules of engagement” within Alpine, he remained steadfast, saying, “As I said, everything has been discussed, and I have no further comment on that.”
Esteban Ocon also acknowledged that the incident had been the subject of internal discussions within the team but refrained from revealing the specifics of those conversations.
He emphasised the importance of their discussions, stating, “We’ve discussed it internally, which is the most important [thing], and we know where we are going from now.”
Reflecting on the team’s past experiences with similar situations, Ocon commented, “But it’s been the similar thing a couple of years ago.
“We’ve made those switches from one side or another, and the important [thing] for us as a team is to maximise the results that we can get, and we try to do that.
“In that race, unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get one more position, so we made the switch back.
“But, I mean, now we know where we’re going with the team, and that’s the most important.”
When asked if he understood Gasly’s frustration, Ocon expressed his preference for genuine racing regardless of the potential gains.
He revealed, “I’m always on the side of I prefer to race, doesn’t matter what there is to gain in front.
“There shouldn’t be artificial racing in any way, and I’m more of an old school guy on that one.
“I just prefer to race, doesn’t matter what the circumstances [are], even if there is a podium to get in front.
“But I also understand the side of the team, which is, you know, to try and get as many points as we can, which is normal so you need to understand both.”