In a thrilling display of skill and determination, Alpine driver Esteban Ocon secured an impressive fourth-place finish in last weekend’s Formula 1 race in Las Vegas, outshining his teammate Pierre Gasly. However, a curious radio message caught the attention of fans and journalists alike, suggesting that Ocon might have disregarded team instructions not to overtake Gasly.
Speaking on the official Formula 1 Post Race Show, Ocon shed light on the situation, providing clarity on the seemingly conflicting messages from the Alpine pit wall.
Journalist Will Buxton recounted the radio exchange, stating, “We had a little bit of radio played out where the team basically said don’t put the moves on, just look after the tyres, and literally about five seconds later you go straight through!”
Ocon swiftly addressed the matter, emphasizing that there was more to the story than initially suggested. “No, that’s not how it happened! You know what, so I had position in the radio because I was already making moves and Pierre [Gasly] was defending, it was tricky! I had position, and then I got told after that it was hold position, so I did the move, I completed the move, and if the team asked to give back the position, I would have done so. It’s important to clarify that,” Ocon explained.
The 27-year-old driver’s clarification comes as he narrows the gap on Gasly in the Drivers’ Standings, with just four points separating them as they head to Abu Dhabi for the upcoming race.
Despite the radio message controversy, Ocon’s stellar performance in Las Vegas showcased his racing prowess, as he and Lance Stroll made remarkable comebacks, each gaining more than ten positions during the event. Ocon’s fourth-place finish marked one of his best performances of the season, with only a podium in Monaco surpassing it.
As the tension builds for the final race in Abu Dhabi, Ocon remains focused on the task at hand, determined to continue his strong showing and close the season on a high note. The radio message incident serves as a reminder of the intricate dynamics and split-second decisions that define Formula 1 racing, adding an extra layer of drama to an already exhilarating season.