esteban ocon

Ocon: We are not robots and I will race in Canada!

esteban ocon Ocon: We are not robots and I will race in Canada! alpine

Alpine F1 Team driver Esteban Ocon confirmed he would race in the forthcoming 2024 Canadian Grand Prix and said he was “deeply saddened” by online abuse directed at him since a collision with teammate Pierre Gasly in Monaco last weekend.

The Monaco Grand Prix first lap coming together ended Ocon’s race on Sunday and the Frenchman was also handed a five-place grid penalty for Montreal.

Alpine team principal Bruno Famin told reporters in Monaco that Ocon would face “appropriate consequences”, which some interpreted as the Formula 1 driver being dropped for the ninth race of the season.

Ocon said in a statement on X on Friday: “While I have received many messages of support, I have been deeply saddened by the amount of abuse and negativity that I have received online regarding my character, my driving and my career,”

The 27-year-old, who has started 141 races but is out of contract at the end of the season, said he had raced alongside multiple race winners with some tough battles and occasional contact.

Ocon tweeted after the race in Monte-Carlo: “The incident was my fault, the gap was too small in the end and I apologise to the team on this one. Hoping for a deserved points-finish for the team today.”

Esteban: I have made honest mistakes

Esteban: I have made honest mistakes alpine driver crash

The Frenchman went on to add: “Of course, I have made honest mistakes. We are not robots. F1 is a sport where emotions run high, and passions run deep. I see and feel this every weekend at the track and on social media… the good and the bad.

“But the misinformed statements and gross distortions that I have seen online in recent days about my ability to work with a team have been inaccurate, hurtful and damaging.”

Ocon said he had always followed instructions and raced to achieve the best for his team. He took responsibility for Sunday’s accident and respected compatriot Gasly as a competitor and teammate.

“We have always worked collaboratively and professionally inside the team and this will continue to be the case,” added Ocon. “I’m looking forward to competing in Montreal, in front of the fantastic Canadian fans, and to the exciting opportunities the future holds.”

Renault-owned Alpine have had a tough season, so far collecting only two points and languishing ninth of the 10 teams prompting rumours the team may be up for sale. Andretti Global springs to mind as a buyer. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)

Big Question: Why do former F1 teammates and rivals dislike Esteban Ocon so much?