Alonso happy with P7 finish in Monaco after 'tricky race' but Ocon left frustrated by 5s penalty
There were contrasting emotions at Alpine after the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix, as while Fernando Alonso was pleased to clinch seventh, Esteban Ocon was left irked by a five-second penalty that bumped him out of the top 10.
Two-time champion and Monaco GP winner Alonso started the race in seventh after his Q3 crash, but struggled to match the pace of the drivers in front of him, eventually finishing in the same position but 34 seconds behind sixth-place Lando Norris.
“It was a very tricky race, to be honest,” admitted Alonso. “Very interesting from the outside. All kind of conditions, not raceable at the beginning, red flag, no visibility, then very poor grip, then intermediates, then dry tyres, then the crash and another mini race of 33 laps.
“All in all, I think we had a difficult afternoon to execute on the driving aspect but also on the team strategy, so we are happy with seventh.”
After the race was red flagged due to Mick Schumacher’s accident, many drivers switched from the hard to medium tyres, including Alonso. And when questioned about his pace being much slower than the drivers ahead of him, Alonso revealed that he was simply just managing his tyres.
“We have to do a lot of tyre management,” explained Alonso. “We had some concerns about the yellow tyre to grain a lot on our car. The first 10 or 15 laps I took care of the tyres a lot.
“And after that I pushed again when they told me that Esteban had to make up a five-second gap. But at that point Hamilton didn’t want to push, so [held] Esteban at the back, so that was a little bit disappointing.”
Ocon, on the other hand, wasn't happy with that five-second penalty, having clashed with Hamilton on Laps 18 and 19. When quizzed after the race, Ocon did not believe the penalty to be "justified."
“Very frustrated. Clearly, it’s not the end result that we want,” said Ocon. “It’s ruining all the hard work that that we’ve done the whole weekend, this five-second penalty, because I don’t think it is very justified.
“I went to see the stewards just now to review the images and there is a new rule that apparently all drivers agreed that now when we’re both alongside, and when somebody is attacking, if you don’t leave the room then it’s a penalty, which I never heard off.
“I’m a bit surprised about by the penalty, I think the opinion of everyone is that it should be a racing incident, nothing else. So yes, all these efforts for no reason – we could have stayed home this weekend.”