Rossi: "Killer instinct" of Alpine drivers went "a bit too far" in Brazil clashes

Laurent Rossi says the "killer instinct" of Alpine Formula 1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon went "a bit too far" in their Brazil sprint race clashes.

Rossi: "Killer instinct" of Alpine drivers went "a bit too far" in Brazil clashes
Listen to this article

Alonso and Ocon came together twice on the opening lap of last Saturday's sprint race at Interlagos, causing both drivers to drop down the field.

An initial side-by-side moment at Turn 4 was followed by contact on the main straight as they completed the lap, with Alonso running into the rear-right tyre of Ocon's car.

It left Alonso with front wing damage that forced him to pit, as well as receiving a penalty for causing the collision. Ocon also dropped back in the sprint, leaving them 16th and 17th on the grid for the race.

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer said the drivers had let the team down with the incidents, noting the fight for P4 in the championship against McLaren. But Alonso and Ocon recovered to both score points in the race on Sunday, finishing fifth and eighth respectively.

Alpine CEO Rossi spoke to the drivers about what happened at Interlagos, telling the drivers they could "race until the team is worse off, which happened last weekend."

"I reminded them of our contracts, and I reminded them I have plenty of drivers that are longing to race in their place, and it would be a shame to finish the year with two other drivers, even if it costs me a lot," said Rossi.

"They took the responsibility, and they did a brilliant job [on Sunday]. It happens to everyone I guess. That is what makes those drivers incredible champions, they have this killer instinct.

"Sometimes it goes a bit too far. That's my role as well, to bring them back in a better space."

Laurent Rossi, CEO, Alpine F1, attends the Press Conference

Laurent Rossi, CEO, Alpine F1, attends the Press Conference

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The race saw Ocon allow Alonso to overtake him in the final stint following a safety car period, having told the team he wanted to pass Sebastian Vettel first before making the switch.

It helped Alonso on his late charge up to fifth place, helping increase Alpine's buffer over McLaren in the teams' standings to 19 points ahead of the Abu Dhabi finale.

Read Also:

Rossi said that no set team orders were imposed on the Alpine drivers in light of what happened on Saturday, but they were told they would be used if required.

"We told them that if we have to, they have to follow the orders, but there were no team orders," said Rossi.

"We have two different strategies, we could not predict which one would be the better outcome because it depends on the race conditions.

"But based on the pace and the circumstances, we told them that if they have to, we will impose swaps or things like that, and they would have to comply, which they did, which was perfect."

shares
comments

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

Hamilton facing F1 stewards' investigation over FP3 red flag rules breach

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The story of Ken Tyrrell's team How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinuackas

Assessing Hamilton's Mercedes stint Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinauckas

Assessing Wolff's Mercedes influence The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The line-up Ocon, Gasly may emulate The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Who were the fastest F1 drivers? Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Adam Cooper

Why Hulkenberg is ready for return Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why Vasseur relishes the pressure Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss