Esteban Ocon looking to put the drama behind him at F1 Canadian Grand Prix

To say it has been an eventful few weeks for Esteban Ocon and Alpine might be an understatement.

During the opening lap of the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix Ocon tried to overtake teammate Pierre Gasly, causing a collision between the two Alpine drivers. Ocon’s A524 suffered substantial floor damage in the incident, which forced his early retirement from the race. While Gasly’s A524 also suffered damage, Alpine was able to return him to the track and the French driver held on for a P10 finish, delivering his first point of the 2024 season.

But the incident drew harsh criticism for Ocon including from Team Principal Bruno Famin, who in a mid-race interview with CANAL+ warned of “consequences” for Ocon as a result of the incident. Those remarks sparked speculation that Ocon might be sidelined for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

While Ocon will be back in the A524 in Montreal, the matter did not end there. After receiving a wave of social media outrage, Ocon released a statement pushing back on the “negativity” he experienced following the incident in Monaco.

Then came the next bit of news, as Ocon and Alpine announced earlier this week that the parties were “parting ways” at the end of the 2024 season.

Finally, the driver can get back to the track this weekend.

Which he says will be a welcome development.

“A lot has been said in recent days, so I am very much looking forward to driving again and getting back out on track,” said Ocon in Alpine’s media preview. “My focus and energy is fully dedicated to the team and maximising our results on track, starting already this weekend in Canada.”

Ocon believes that the “pace” Alpine showed in Monaco, especially on Saturday, is another sign the team is moving in the right direction.

“The pace we showed in Monaco was positive, particularly in Qualifying trim where we had the opportunity to get both cars into Q3. As a team, we have been making steady progress over the course of the season,” added Ocon. “Despite the circuit characteristics being quite different, hopefully we can carry momentum into Montréal and show similar speed as we did in Monaco. The field is extremely close at the moment, so extracting every bit of performance counts.”

However, Ocon will have to wait a little bit longer to climb into the A524. The team also announced on Wednesday that reserve driver Jack Doohan will be driving Ocon’s A524 during Friday’s first practice session, as part of Doohan’s rookie/reserve duties.

And perhaps to evaluate the Australian driver for Ocon’s seat in 2025.

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