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Formula 1 Monaco GP

Ocon: Alpine 'unfortunate' with Monaco F1 red-flag absence

Esteban Ocon has admitted to a "tiny bit of frustration" after the lack of a red-flag intervention meant he missed a maiden Formula 1 pole for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

The Alpine driver stunned the paddock when he set a 1m11.553s effort with just a handful of minutes remaining in Q3 to take provisional pole.

Ocon dropped to fourth following the final runs as eventual polesitter Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc all registered faster times. 

But he will be lifted to third, matching his career-best grid position, by Leclerc's three-place grid penalty for impeding Lando Norris.

Explaining the decision to run early in the final phase of qualifying, Ocon said: "We got done exactly in Miami for that.

"We left it late, we got done with the red flag for Charles [Leclerc] at the end and we wanted to avoid that.

"We wanted to go earlier with the two sets [of tyres] and that's what we did.

"Unfortunately, there was no red flag for us but it could well have paid off. It is something we will keep in mind."

Asked if the lack of a session-ending intervention was a source of frustration, the Frenchman added: "There is a tiny bit of frustration that we are only 188 milliseconds from pole and what could have been.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team, celebrates after Qualifying

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team, celebrates after Qualifying

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"If I had got a better exit there, I get a little bit cooler temperatures from the front tyres in the last couple of corners, you never know. But I think it was pretty well maximised.

"They told me every single time [someone crossed the line and improved].

"I was still on pole when I came in and then I saw the fall of hell, which doesn't feel great. We can be pleased with only being two-tenths off the Red Bull."

Hinting at his ambition to add to his sole victory secured at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Ocon outlined how Alonso's personal desire could open the door.

He said: "Fernando is starting second and I'm pretty sure he is going to take all of the risks to be in the lead after Turn 1. Hopefully, he creates a mess and that opens the way for us."

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