SportF1Ocon and Alpine's request to help Alonso (which went...

Ocon and Alpine's request to help Alonso (which went wrong)

Fernando Alonso was handed a five-second penalty for his contact with Pierre Gasly midway through the race at Miami, and as he no longer had any pit stops to make, time would be added after the checkered flag.

The Spaniard, therefore, needed a margin of more than five seconds with the riders behind him, his teammate Ocon and especially an Albon who, tenth, was chasing the two Alpines.

The team wanted to help the Asturian to lose the least number of positions, and devised the strategy of asking Esteban Ocon to compress the pack of drivers that was behind him (behind Albon, although far away, were Daniel Ricciardo and Lance Stroll) to that Alonso got the necessary cushion of time.

However, the French driver was glad he couldn’t do it because that would have allowed others to overtake him using DRS if they got too close.

This was the radio conversation between Alpine and Ocon in the last laps of the Miami GP

Engineer : We need a margin of seconds for Fernando, who has a penalty, slow down the cars behind, please. Do it now, please do it now.

Ocon (screaming): I can’t do it!

Engineer : Esteban, stop the cars.

Ocon : They’re going to overtake me if I do that! I can’t let myself down, guys, it’s not possible, I say it.

However, Ocon quickly relented and asked the team how much time they needed, requesting that they keep him informed of the situation at all times. At the end of that conversation, in fact, Alonso already had a 5.5 margin with Albon, and it was not necessary for the Frenchman to fall behind to stop the Thai, not even on the last lap.

Finally, Ocon finished 3.742 seconds behind Alonso, which allowed him to inherit the eighth place of the Spaniard when the penalty was applied. However, after the race it was announced that the two-time champion was being investigated “for having gained an advantage off the track”, and an hour and a half after finishing another five-second penalty came for Alonso.

As Alexander Albon had finished 5.237s behind Alonso, the Williams rider moved up to ninth place with the 10 seconds lost by Fernando. And that wasn’t the worst, because Lance Stroll, who had reached the finish line 9.898 seconds behind the #14 Alpine, took tenth position and the last point divided by just one tenth.

Alonso left the Miami GP empty, 11th, while Ocon, who started 20th (although he gained two positions as soon as the race started because the Aston Martins had to start from the pitlane) finished 8th.

In the 2021 season, Alonso and Ocon were key as team men in each other’s great successes. Alonso’s defense against Hamilton to allow Ocon to win the Hungarian GP is already historic, and Ocon’s defense against Pérez at the Qatar GP was also very good for his teammate to get on the podium.

It can be concluded that although Ocon first refused to accept the team order, he later agreed, but did not need to carry it out because Alonso had already gotten away enough from Albon. In the end, the second penalty brought the team orders and their consequences to nothing.

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