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Alpine slate driver conduct as Alonso penalised for Ocon collision

Alpine slate driver conduct as Alonso penalised for Ocon collision

F1 News

Alpine slate driver conduct as Alonso penalised for Ocon collision

Alpine slate driver conduct as Alonso penalised for Ocon collision

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer insisted Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon "let the team down" after both drivers plummeted from the top 10 through contact in the São Paulo Grand Prix sprint.

Ocon came under attack from his two-time champion team-mate on the opening lap of Saturday's sprint with the pair making contact on each occasion.

The resulting damage forced Alonso to pit for a new front wing and cost Ocon significant pace as he dropped to 17th by the chequered flag.

Alonso was handed a five-second penalty for the second collision when closing on the pit straight, with the race stewards determining the Spaniard to be "wholly to blame".

With Lando Norris scoring two points for McLaren and Alonso 18th after his five-second penalty was applied, the margin between the warring teams in the constructors' championship is down to five.

“We are extremely disappointed with today’s sprint qualifying result, which has put us in a worse position on the grid for tomorrow’s main race," said Szafnauer.

"We are in a very tight and competitive championship fight for fourth place in the constructors’ championship; an objective for which over 1,000 staff are tirelessly working and striving towards.

"Frankly, both Esteban and Fernando must do a better job to complement the fantastic efforts of everyone in the team by avoiding on-track incidents and compromising the entire team’s performance.

"Both drivers have let the team down. I expect more from them tomorrow where we must do everything we can to recover some points from the weekend for the championship.

"We aim to ensure we go to Abu Dhabi next weekend in a position where we can reach our season goals. Tomorrow is a new day.”

Alonso slates Ocon 'crazy defending' after sprint contact

Speaking before visiting the stewards' room, Alonso was highly critical of his team-mate's on-track behaviour and believed firmly that he was the victim in the matter.

“I have been very close to the wall this year," said the 41-year-old. "A few occasions in Jeddah and I remember in Budapest last year.

“It seems that when we start too close, there is this defending crazy. It is the way it is. Nothing we can do.

"We both try to do our best and unfortunately it didn’t work, so let’s think about tomorrow and try to score points for the team.”

Asked if he would have made more noise on the radio had the incident involved any driver other than his team-mate, Alonso added: “No.

"Now I’m in the penultimate race, I just want to go to Abu Dhabi and test the green car. That is my main goal now.”

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