In Imola, the points run came to an end for the BWT Alpine F1 Team after a frustrating Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna. Esteban Ocon finished fourteenth, while Fernando Alonso’s car was out of action after a collision on the first lap.
In the first wet race of the season, both Alpine drivers managed to gain positions in the opening laps during incidents. During these exchanges, Alonso was hit on the right side of his car exiting Turn 3, and the resulting impact caused damage to the sidepod and floor. Unfortunately the damage was too great and Fernando had to stop a few laps later.
Ocon spent his race fighting for the last points position and found himself no further than eleventh. His chances of finishing in the top ten were then hampered when he was given a five-second time penalty for an unsafe release in his one and only Medium pit stop. Esteban Ocon crossed the line in eleventh place, but ended up in fourteenth position after the time penalty had been applied.
Esteban Ocon, who started P16, finished P14: “It was a frustrating race for us in the end where we didn’t score any points. It was a tough one for me from the start and the qualifying result put the rest of my weekend at risk, so when you think about where we ended up for the penalty today, it’s not too bad. We lacked a bit of race pace and in the end we weren’t fast enough to get into the points, even without the five second penalty. It’s a very tight pit lane, but we’ll look at exactly what happened in tonight’s debriefing to see if it could have been avoided. We will learn from this and move on, and I am already looking forward to Miami.”
Fernando Alonso, started P9, finished DNF: “It was another unfortunate race for us this season. We got off to a good start and climbed up to eighth, but there was a lot of damage to the right side of my floor and to the sidepod, so we had no choice but to retire. It’s bad luck because a little accident with Mick [Schumacher], which was not intended, destroyed our car and race. After Australia I feel like I could have scored 20 or 30 points in the championship, and I only have two. It’s bad luck! It’s a long season and there are still plenty of points to score.”
Laurent Rossi, Alpine CEO: “Actually, this weekend has been a disappointing weekend for the team and it’s the first race of the season where we leave without scoring any points. We need to make sure that doesn’t happen again this year because we have a much stronger potential than that. As a team, there are many areas that we need to improve on, and we also need to quickly eliminate mistakes if we are to achieve our ambitious goals. Although we feel frustrated with today’s result, we will count on it as extra motivation not to have this feeling again this year. I am confident that the team will continue to work hard and we definitely need to bounce back next time in Miami.