If Fernando Alonso was the face of the opening race of the 2023 Formula 1 season, the cross fell on his former teammate and Alpine leader Esteban Ocon. The French pilot signed a disastrous performance being the last pilot to enter the finish line being eighteenth and obtaining zero points for Alpine.
Esteban Ocon had boasted a lot about his victory last year over Fernando Alonso in the World Cup thanks to the fact that Alpine systematically benefited him. The Frenchman, however, has come face to face with reality without the Asturian preparing the car for him and facilitating the telemetry. His teammate Pierre Gasly, meanwhile, started last and finished the race ninth.
Esteban Ocon’s performance was very marketable due to the three penalties he received during the race, losing a total of 20 seconds. The Frenchman was placed ahead of what was allowed on the starting grid, for which he was penalized with five seconds stopped at his first stop in the box.
The Alpine leader saw how his mechanics touched the car before the penalty time expired and was later penalized with 10 seconds in the box. Esteban Ocon rounded off the trio of penalties by exceeding the speed limit in the pit lane and being punished with another five seconds.
The Frenchman has given the true version of him after two years being a limpet of Fernando Alonso. “This has never happened to me in my life. It is a shame what is happening in this race, “he said, complaining about the stewards in a few words that could lead to a new financial penalty. The Alpine mechanics told him to focus on the race. “Esteban, he stops thinking about those things and finishes the race,” they snapped at him. Esteban Ocon will have to reflect these days after a disappointing performance in his first race without the Spaniard in two years.