Ocon now grilled at Haas F1 and the entire grid, after his umpteenth blunder?

Ocon now grilled at Haas F1 and the entire grid, after his umpteenth blunder?
Ocon now grilled at Haas F1 and the entire grid, after his umpteenth blunder?

Obviously, it is always easy to hit a driver in difficulty, especially in F1. Kevin Magnussen, Pierre Gasly, Sergio Perez, Logan Sargeant, Daniel Ricciardo are also the favorite victims of detractors. Something which should not make us forget to what extent these men are competitive, overtrained and subjected to enormous pressure. But also, more talented than 99% of other pilots on the planet. However, F1 being what it is, uncompromising and ruthless, all with -sometimes- a hint of toxic politics, it goes without saying, repeated mistakes are often fatal.

What future for Esteban Ocon in F1?

And today, it is Esteban Ocon who could be the first victim of this steamroller. Why ? Well, last weekend in Monaco, the Frenchman made (perhaps) one mistake too many. Before the race, the instructions were simple: cover his teammate (and sworn enemy) Pierre Gasly, to allow him to finish the Grand Prix in the points. He who qualified in tenth place.

Unfortunately, the temptation to disobey was too strong. And above all, the opportunity to overtake his teammate, with whom he has been engaged in a psychological struggle since their (unwelcome) association at Alpine F1. This is how, after having overtaken car number 10 approximately 3/4 of the way, number 31 caught Gasly’s right front wheel, before taking off and then abandoning. And although Pierre’s car was not damaged, this maneuver could have cost the Team points. In addition to the damage caused and the bill incurred.

At the Canal+ microphone, hotly, it was too much for Bruno Famin. Who charged the person concerned, clearly guilty on this occasion. Although, since the start of 2023, the two drivers are probably equal, in terms of on-track mischief. The result of a heated rivalry, which existed long before their association at Enstone. Knowing that since the start of the year, it is Esteban who dominates Pierre, on the track, in terms of pure speed…

But unfortunately, Esteban could well act as a fuse this time. So Bruno Famin could have made a definitive decision after this sequence. Namely, not renewing Ocon’s contract. But beyond the Alpine case, the French driver has undoubtedly also just burned out with the entire grid. Knowing that the fallback options were, a priori, not very numerous for him. Linked to Audi from time to time, it is probably no longer on the German brand’s list. Knowing that Carlos Sainz could, in any case, accept the offer from the Team in question.

And the Haas track which, according to some of our colleagues, was very close to materializing before the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, would now be well cooled. Imagine an Ocon-Magnussen duo? Kevin is also quite hot on the track. We imagine that Haas does not want to relive the chaotic Grosjean-Magnussen situation of a few years ago. In addition, the idea of ​​replacing the Dane with the tricolor, which was undoubtedly in the minds of Komatsu and his boss, certainly evaporated last Sunday.

Who would want a driver who is certainly fast but doesn’t follow instructions, while lacking tact with his teammates? Knowing that the Team Principal of the American team was very clear. He wants drivers ready to commit “for the team” and for the long term. Knowing that, conversely, K-Mag knows how to take on the role of model teammate. As he has only proven twice this year, allowing Hulkenberg and Haas to score 2 or 3 points. Can Esteban say the same? No, obviously.

Another argument working against Esteban Ocon: damage. Who says clashes means repair costs. And if Alpine has a sufficient budget to manage this kind of situation – with certain limits – Haas cannot say the same. So, more than speed, the American Team needs reliable drivers.

Very thorny situation, therefore, for the designated culprit from Monaco. Who is moving more and more towards the end of his career in F1. Or, at a minimum, towards a season of transition. For example as a reservist at Mercedes. Toto Wolff perhaps representing his last real support, in the paddock…

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Article published on 05/29/2024 at 6:06 a.m.

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