Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Ocon explains why he didn’t follow ‘hold position’ F1 team order

Esteban Ocon has explained how a misheard radio message was behind him appearing to ignore a ‘hold position’ request from his Alpine team in Formula 1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523, Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523, Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523

Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The Frenchman pulled off an impressive charge from 16th on the grid in Las Vegas to finish fourth on Saturday in what was one of his best race performances of the year. 

But it was not without some intrigue after television footage showed him making an overtake on Alpine team-mate Pierre Gasly just moments after he had received a radio message from the pitwall telling him to ‘hold position.’ 

While Ocon has been known to be pretty ruthless in battling team-mates in the past, he has revealed that this situation was nothing to do with trying to get one up on Gasly. Instead, it was explained through him not properly hearing what had been said to him on the radio. 

Speaking to Sky about what happened, Ocon said: “I think Pierre was on older tyres at the time and I got told 'hold position.’ 

“But at the time, I didn't know it was 'hold position'. The only thing I heard was ‘position’ because I was basically making the move while I got told.  

“Obviously if the team had asked for me to give back the position, I would have done so straight away.”  

Ocon explained how his feelings after a brilliant push through the field to finish fourth was in complete contrast to the despair he felt after qualifying. 

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23

“It’s crazy emotions,” he said. “I was probably at the lowest point of the season [after qualifying]. Very, very disappointed.  

“It's been six races, I would say since Singapore, where we didn't seem to catch very much of a break. We had all sorts of incidents and tricky races. But we never stopped believing that we were doing a good job as a team and things were going to come. But it took a while to come.” 

While Ocon enjoyed one of his best races of the year, team-mate Gasly had a more frustrating time as he fell down the order from fourth on the grid to finish 11th. 

He said his afternoon was derailed by graining on the hard tyre, which he found himself unable to manage. 

“There were quite a few things that were going on, but I think the main thing was just that after five or six laps, I grained the hard tyre,” he said. 

“From there on it just never recovered and it was just a very painful long last 25 laps from there on. 

“It’s obviously frustrating because the start was great. I started in the right train behind George [Russell] and Charles [Leclerc]. I knew there was a big opportunity on the table, but after, on that hard tyre, it was just pretty much a nightmare.”

Quotes from Mandy Curi and Adam Cooper

Be part of Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Drivers call for F1's Las Vegas race to move away from Abu Dhabi finale
Next article Alpine abandons F1 engine equalisation push

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe