Rossi threatened to suspend Alpine riders after crash in Brazil

Lawrence Rossi not afraid of strong words. At a press conference in Abu Dhabi, the general manager ofAlpine returned to the painful episode of the Sprint race at Interlagos. From the first lap of the qualifying race, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso touched each other twice, which damaged both cars. The French and the Spaniard, initially qualified in the top 10, had to start from 16th and 17th places. On the evening of this disaster for the French team, Fernando Alonso had had harsh words for his teammate and his team, admitting that he was eager for the adventure with Alpine to end.

Rossi brandished the threat: “ I reminded them that many drivers dream of racing in their place…”

A week after these events, Laurent Rossi detailed the discussions he had with his two drivers on the Saturday evening of the Sprint race. And the least we can say is that the Corsican did not go into the language of wood. The director of the brand with the arrowed A said he was in the threats to calm the game. “I told the drivers that as long as they behave like adults, I will treat them like adults and they can fight until the team is penalized, which happened last weekend.explained Laurent Rossi. I reminded them that there are many drivers who dream of racing in their place, and that it would be a shame to finish the year with two other drivers, even if it costs me dearly. »

The next day, thanks to a high-performance A522 in São Paulo and two optimal strategies, the two Alpine drivers had caught up and scored big points (5th for Alonso, 8th for Ocon), essential in the fight for 4th place against at McLaren. “ We had to take responsibility and in the end they did a great job. It happens to everyone, I guess. That’s what makes these pilots incredible champions, that killer instinct that sometimes goes a little too far. It’s my job to put them in their place.” declared the French managing director, present sporadically in the paddocks of Formula 1.

No team orders at Interlagos

On the other hand, Laurent Rossi refuted any team instructions given to Interlagos before the race. “We told them that if we have to impose instructions, they must follow them, but there were no team orders [au Brésil]. We had two different strategies. We couldn’t predict which one would give a better result because it depends on the race conditions.” reaffirmed the boss of the French firm. On the restart following the final Safety Car, Esteban Ocon had been told not to block Fernando Alonso, on much better tyres. An instruction respected and which worked. “Depending on the pace and the circumstances, we told them that if we had to do it, we would force position exchanges and they would have to comply, which they did, which is perfect. »

Going into the last Grand Prix of the season, Alpine now has a 19-point lead over McLaren and is in an ideal position to take 4th place in the constructors’ championship. The objective for the start of the season, displayed by Laurent Rossi, could then be respected…

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Rossi threatened to suspend Alpine riders after crash in Brazil