‘Not rocket science’: Alpine fire jibe at FIA

The FIA is facing calls from Alpine to make changes to prevent a repeat of the terrifying scenes at the end of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The end of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix saw potentially serious scenes unfold in the pitlane after Esteban Ocon came in for a last lap tyre change while individuals were scattered across a live pit lane.

Ocon had to come in for a tyre change on the last lap or risk disqualification but the pitlane had already begun to fill with FIA personnel.

Alpine made the move having waited for a late safety car that never came in a bid to give their driver a shot at a points finish, with Ocon having driven on hard tyres for as long as regulations permitted. 

Photographers had been allowed to gather in the pitlane ahead of Sergio Perez’s arrival as the race winner, with those in the pit lane seemingly unaware that Ocon was coming in for a last minute stop. 

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In a potentially dangerous moment, given the speed Ocon was moving at, personnel had to dive out of the way to avoid a serious incident, with the Alpine driver’s onboard camera showing how close the situation was to a “major incident.”

Alpine’s Sporting Director Alan Permane said that the way to avoid a similarly scary incident was not “rocket science”, stating how the situation should never have occurred. 

“It is something we have seen before…I don’t know why but photographers are allowed – I understand people want to get the shots of cars coming into parc fermé – but the race track is still live,” Permane said.

“I don’t think it is rocket science to fix that.”

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The FIA are thought to be working on a solution before Miami after being summoned to a meeting with the stewards in Baku post-race.

READ: Sergio Perez throws shade on Azerbaijan sprint

“Rob, our Chief Mechanic, came on the intercom to say there was people in the pit lane and Esteban, at that point, is going 80kph, don’t forget so he could stop the car pretty quickly if he needed to,” Permane explained.

“So whilst it was quite scary to look at, I suspect he was in full control and no one was in serious danger.

“It was a bit like a scene from the Group B rallying days with the crowd parting as he got there.”