Aurélie SACCHELLI, Media365, published on Saturday November 19, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.
Laurent Rossi, the managing director of Alpine, confided on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that he had threatened his drivers Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso to dismiss them, after their collision during the sprint race of the Grand Prix of Brazil .
Relations between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon have deteriorated in recent weeks within the Alpine team, and the clash between the two drivers last Saturday during the sprint race of the Brazilian Grand Prix proved to be the last straw. water causing the silt to overflow. The Frenchman and the Spaniard collided and finished 15th and 18th respectively, which fortunately did not dampen their chances in Sunday’s race, as Alonso took fifth place after an eventful Grand Prix, and Ocon the eighth. This Saturday, on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the general manager of Alpine Laurent Rossi returned to this collision and did not hide his anger towards the two pilots. “I told the drivers that as long as they behave like adults, I will treat them like adults and they can fight until the team is penalized, which happened last weekend. I reminded them that there are many drivers who dream of racing in their place, and that it would be a shame to finish the year with two other drivers, even if it costs me dearly. (…) We had to take our responsibilities and in the end, they did a great job. It happens to everyone, I guess. That’s what makes these pilots incredible champions, that killer instinct that sometimes goes a little too far. It’s my role to put them in their place.”
Fourth place reaches out to Alpine
Thanks to the good results of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon at Interlagos, Alpine now has a 19-point lead over McLaren in the constructors’ standings with only the Abu Dhabi GP remaining to be contested. The Blues therefore have a good chance of finishing fourth (far behind Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes), provided that Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo do not achieve a feat for their last joint Grand Prix with the Oranges. Once this objective is achieved, it will be time for Alonso to look elsewhere, on the side of Aston Martin.