Tempers ran high and the carbon flew in the clan Alpine during the sprint of the São Paulo Grand Prix. Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso came into contact twice on the first lap of this 100 kilometer race, which damaged their cars and thus destroyed any hopes of points.
The second incident between the men caused the most talk: it happened at high speed, on the pit straight, when Alonso was trying to overtake his teammate. This ended in a collision that removed part of the Spaniard’s front wing, and the marshals cracked down.
Found responsible for the collision, Alonso was penalized five seconds, which sends him back to 18th place in the standings, and received two penalty points on his license, a total of six units in the last twelve months.
“The Stewards heard from the driver of car 14 (Fernando Alonso), the driver of car 31 (Esteban Ocon), the team representative and reviewed the video and telemetry evidence”is it indicated in a press release from the FIA.
“Alonso started an overtake on car 31 at turn 15. The team noted that Ocon was abnormally slow due to aerodynamic damage from the incident at turn 4, however the stewards determined through telemetry that Ocon was traveling at a similar speed to other cars out of the slipstream in the same spot on the track Alonso, however, was significantly faster since he was in the slipstream and, as he admitted during the audience, slightly misjudged when to pull out of the way before crashing into Ocon from behind, his front wing hitting Ocon’s rear tire.”
“The stewards considered that Alonso was entirely responsible for the collision, which was dangerous at this speed and at this location on the track.”
The performance of the Alpine drivers greatly disappointed Otmar Szafnauer. After the race, the team manager called his men to order: “Honestly, Esteban and Fernando have to do a better job […] avoiding such incidents on the track and compromising the team’s result. Today both riders let the team down. I expect more from them tomorrow.”