Ocon blasts Alpine's 'unexplainable' orders in Canada GP

MONTREAL, Canada -- Esteban Ocon described Alpine's team orders at the end of the Canadian Grand Prix as "unexplainable," insisting he is the "nice guy" in an increasingly tense and difficult situation between driver and team.

Ocon lost eighth place to Daniel Ricciardo on lap 67 of 70 in Montreal after his car started struggling with an energy management issue that meant he could no longer use the full potential of his battery.

With two laps to go he was asked by his engineer, Josh Peckett, to concede ninth place to teammate Pierre Gasly, who was running behind him in tenth position and was capable of lapping faster.

Ocon initially refused the order, saying "forget it!," before agreeing to swap on lap 69 on what he believed was the condition that Gasly would give the position back on the final lap if he was unable to pass Ricciardo.

However, his engineer only ever said he was "working" on that scenario and at the end of the final lap informed Ocon that the positions would not be swapped back as Nico Hülkenberg was too much of a threat in 11th place.

Asked for his thoughts on the team orders after the race, Ocon said: "It is unexplainable, that one.

"I've always respected the instructions that I've been given as a driver, and I've done that once more. I'm the nice guy!

"I've done my part of the job -- the team hasn't, honestly. It is not fair on that race.

"So I'm very frustrated with how things have been played out. I guess there are a lot of reasons, so we'll let the benefit of the doubt go on."

Ocon said he did not think it made sense to swap the places in the first place.

"No, because we were two and a half seconds behind Daniel. In one lap, not even a Red Bull can catch up the gap.

"So, no, it makes no sense. So either we don't know what we are doing or we don't realise how far it is, or it's something else. It wasn't the right decision."

The team orders controversy in Canada came just a few days after Alpine and Ocon announced they would not continue together in 2025.

It also follows Ocon causing a collision with Gasly at the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks prior, after attempting an overly ambitious overtaking move on the opening lap of the race.

Asked how he would get through the rest of the season with Alpine, Ocon said: "Like usual, I'm just trying to do the best I can with what I've got in hands.

"That's not going to change. I've got a very close team around me with my engineers, my mechanics - all these guys, they are pushing day in, day out for me to perform.

"Today, I think they were proud of the race that we were doing. But it's a different story at the end.

"I've had harder times, so I will push hard anyway."