Following an incident packed race in Melbourne BWT Alpine left with no points as both Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon were forced to retire. The race itself was red flagged on three occasions and featured three standing starts.
Gasly was running the majority of the race in fifth place on par with rivals ahead chasing the podium places whilst Ocon fought his way up the pack to chase points in the later stages of the race. A late red flag for Kevin Magnussen hitting the wall made for a two-lap sprint from a standing start to the end of the race.
Unfortunately after Gasly ran wide at Turn 1 after the third restart it forced an unstable entry back onto the track and as Ocon tried to capitalise on a strong exit from Turn 1 he made contact with the rear of his teammate’s car as both driver’s picked up speed. The collision forced both drivers to retire from the race.
Speaking about the race Gasly said “I’m very disappointed in the outcome of today’s race. We were in fifth place for most of it, chasing Carlos [Sainz] for fourth place and we showed really good race pace. For us to be so close to scoring ten points and leaving without any is a bitter one for us to take. Right now, we must focus on the positives and that is how we managed our race and how we were able to take the fight to our rivals ahead. I’m glad both Esteban and I are OK after the incident. As a team, we’ll move on and keep focused for the next race.”
Ocon added “It’s a real shame for both cars not to finish today’s race, especially after showing great pace all weekend. We had the performance to be fighting the Ferraris and the Aston Martins, so to walk away with nothing is a tough one for all of us. The restart at the end was very chaotic and everything went so fast. The clash with Pierre was unfortunate and I’m glad we’re both OK. We’ve spoken about it, and we’re all good and there’s no hard feelings. We’re both already looking forward to the next one and I know the whole team will want to put this weekend behind us.”
The team now looks ahead to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from 28th to 30th April.