Alpine had both their cars at risk of retirement from the Mexican Grand Prix, as it showed the extent of Esteban Ocon’s effort to ensure he reached the checkered flag.
Ocon finished one round in eighth place at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez last weekend. Teammate Fernando Alonso dropped to ninth place with power unit problems and retired eight laps into the race.
In what he described as a “damage limitation” race, Ocon had to manage “a lot of cooling issues overall for a lot of races and had to coast.” Alonso’s unconnected problem occurred only later in the race, but Ocon had to spend the afternoon controlling the high heat, which ended the race early.
“I couldn’t attack the top. Okon has a lot to evaluate for us. Hopefully we’ll come back strong in the last two.
“The team said it was critical that I do several seconds of life-and-ashore, and when you do that, you obviously don’t accelerate. So you lose a lot of lap time, especially on a track like this. We succeeded, we finished the race, which is the most important thing. But today we lost important points as a team.
With four points, Ocon reduced Alpine’s points advantage that had eaten away at McLaren in the battle for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship. The rival teams are separated by seven points going into the last two matches.
After the race, Alonso said the Alpine was more prone to race-ending problems than his team-mate. Okon, who has finished all but two races this year, pointed out that he has faced various problems this year as well.
“I broke the gearbox at Imola, I broke the car at Silverstone, I [retired] In Singapore. I can count them on my side. We both had issues.
But we are happy with the team’s strategy to push the speed of the car on the safety front. This has always been the team’s goal. Today was something we didn’t expect, so it was something we had to understand.
“I’ve also changed six engines like it, brought one in today. We are on the same numbered engine.
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2022 Mexican Grand Prix
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