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Formula 1 Monaco GP

Ocon hits out at hurtful "gross distortions" following Alpine F1 clash

Esteban Ocon has hit out at "misinformed statements and gross distortions" made online following his clash with Alpine team-mate Pierre Gasly at Formula 1's Monaco Grand Prix.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A524

Ocon made a bold move on then ninth-placed Gasly in the first lap of the Monte Carlo race, diving down the inside at Portier, which turned out to be too optimistic – both Alpine cars collided and the former had to retire after being launched in the air.

Gasly criticised his partner for not respecting team orders, explaining "the trailing car was supposed to help throughout the race", while team principal Bruno Famin rocked the boat by stating his intention to "take drastic action".

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This comment led to rumours swirling online, with some media speculating that Ocon would be benched for the Canadian Grand Prix.

While it is understood that Alpine has been considering a range of options, Ocon has now taken to social media to reaffirm he will take part in the Montreal race and defend himself from the waves of criticism that have been coming his way.

"Much has been said in the aftermath of the Monaco Grand Prix," the Frenchman wrote. "While I have received many messages of support, I have been deeply saddened by the amount of abuse and negativity that I have received online regarding my character, my driving, and my career.

"The misinformed statements and gross distortions that I have seen online in recent days about my ability to work with a team have been inaccurate, hurtful, and damaging.

"Since my first laps in motorsport, I have approached this sport with humility, professionalism, and respect. These values were instilled in me from a very young age."

Esteban Ocon, Alpine

Esteban Ocon, Alpine

Photo by: Alpine

In a context where his reputation in the paddock is that of a driver who lacks team spirit, Ocon praised former and current partners Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso and Gasly, before admitting: "As team-mates, we would often start races very close to each other, which in some cases meant some tough battles on track, and sometimes contact.

"Of course, I have made honest mistakes. We are not robots; we are athletes pushing ourselves to the limit every day to achieve our dreams of winning races."

Ocon took this opportunity to reaffirm his respect for Gasly "as a team-mate and as a competitor", in the context of their well-documented rivalry.

"We have always worked collaboratively and professionally inside the team, and this will continue to be the case," Ocon asserted.

 

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