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Formula 1 Canadian GP

Alpine promises Ocon equal F1 status with Gasly despite impending departure

Alpine has promised Esteban Ocon that he will be treated equally to Pierre Gasly for the rest of the Formula 1 season, despite another flashpoint in their relationship.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A524

Ocon was annoyed after the Canadian Grand Prix that the team had not followed through on a promise that, after giving up a place to Gasly to see if he could attack Daniel Ricciardo, the position was not given back before the chequered flag.

“I've done my part of the job – the team hasn't, honestly,” he said. “It is not fair, on that race. So, I'm very frustrated with how things have been played out. I guess there are a lot of reasons, so we'll let the benefit of the doubt go on."

The latest drama comes amid the fallout of the Monaco Grand Prix crash that triggered confirmation of Ocon’s exit from the team at the end of the year, plus the Frenchman making it known that he was running a heavier car in Canada.

It all points to things not appearing to be ideal between driver and team.

But boss Bruno Famin insists that there is no suggestion of the team doing anything to deliberately hold Ocon back – and has promised him he will get as much support as he needs over the remainder of the campaign.

Asked how relations were now after Monaco and if things had settled down with the decision about the future taken, Famin told Autosport: “It has been sorted, but we had 16 and we now 15 races to go now.

“I think Esteban can count on all the team to help him to get the best result, because Esteban having the best result is helping the team having the best possible result. And we count on Esteban to bring everything he can bring to the team.

Photo by: Patrick Vinet / Motorsport Images

“I say it like that, but I should not - because Esteban is part of the team. The team is everybody within the team: driver, mechanic, engineer - everybody has to bring his own to make the best possible result for the team. And the driver is part of the team.”

Famin is clear that Alpine has no interest in hampering Ocon’s performance, especially with its competitiveness meaning it needs every point possible to help its constructors’ championship position.

“We will not put aside Esteban at all,” he said. “He will have exactly the same condition as Pierre. They are on the same level, same status.

“We know they are very close in terms of the performance, and it won't be good to do something different for anybody. Again, it's team interest: Alpine interest first.”

Asked if there were any concerns about Ocon being demob happy and not thinking of the team first with his future elsewhere, Famin replied: “I don't worry more than before…”

Watch: Canadian GP Race Review - Wet and Wild Vs Cool and Calm

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