Alpine Leaves Incident Packed Australian Grand Prix Empty Handed

The BWT Alpine F1 Team leaves Melbourne without points after an incident-packed Australian Grand Prix, which was red flagged three times and featured three standing starts.

New Alpine driver, Pierre Gasly, ran the majority of the race in fifth place and was on par with rivals ahead chasing the podium places.

Pierre Gasly speaking after the race 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.”

While Esteban Ocon was also running in the points towards the latter stages after fighting his way up the pack, which included a sublime move on the outside of Turn 9 on McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, until a late red flag for Kevin Magnussen’s Haas hitting the wall brought chaos.

A thoughtful Ocon said: “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 final red flag, the other two coming very early in the race, left a two-lap sprint from a standing start to the end of the race.

From the start Gasly ran wide at Turn 1 at the third restart of the afternoon, which forced an unstable entry back onto the track.

Ocon looked to capitalise on a strong exit from Turn 1 and was unfortunate to make contact with the rear of Gasly’s car as both drivers picked up speed on the exit of Turn 2.

The collision between both cars forced both drivers out of the race.

Up until that point, Pierre changed tyres from Soft to Hard, under the first red flag on lap seven for Alex Albon’s Williams, aiming to go to the end of the race, while Esteban pitted on lap two for Hards, under the Safety Car for Charles Leclerc’s stranded Ferrari, with the same objective.

After the race the drivers sit twelfth and fourteenth on four points in the Drivers Championship while Alpine are sixth on eight points four behind McLaren.

The team now turns their attention to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and the Baku street circuit on April 28-30.