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‘It was intense’ – Gasly and Ocon share views on their latest on-track battle in Austria

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 30: Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Alpine F1 A524 Renault

Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon have shared their views on the latest on-track battle that unfolded between them during the Austrian Grand Prix, with the pair trading positions before Gasly ultimately took home one point for Alpine in 10th.

While Ocon had enjoyed the better Saturday by reaching Q3 in qualifying to line up in P10 – beating his team mate, who exited Q2 in P13 – Gasly soon found himself close to the other Alpine car as the race progressed.

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After both overtaking the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso, a close fight for P11 ensued in which Ocon came out on top. However, Gasly was determined as the laps wore on and eventually pulled off a move into Turn 4.

When the chequered flag fell, Gasly had stayed ahead and crossed the line in P10, while the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc edged in front of Ocon to leave the latter in P12.

With the point marking Gasly’s fourth consecutive points finish – as well as being his 400th point in F1 – the Frenchman voiced his optimism that the squad are now heading in the right direction after a challenging start to the season.

Alpine team mates battle in Austria

Asked how challenging it was to achieve the result, Gasly responded: “[It was] well-fought, that’s for sure! It was pretty intense from the first lap, I didn’t have the best start.

“I had to recover Turn 3, Turn 4, and then after [had a] pretty intense battle on track with Fernando, Esteban, Charles so, yeah, it was quite entertaining in the cockpit and, yeah, very happy.

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“Fourth race in a row in the points, seem to [have found] some consistency with the team. Obviously still a lot of work, we’re not going to be overjoyed with a single point, but we’re clearly going in the right direction. I really hope in the next few weeks we can pick up some more performance to fight for real points.”

Pushed for his take on his duel with Ocon, Gasly responded: “It was intense. I mean, we’re racing, we’re Formula 1 drivers so you’ve got to race. That’s what we like, that’s what we enjoy.

“Obviously nice to have some space, but sometimes there is no space and you’ve got to find other ways to make it through, and I think I kept it clean on my side, managed to get a point out of it so that’s the most important.”

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 29: Esteban Ocon of France and Alpine F1 and Pierre Gasly of France and

Gasly took home one point for Alpine in Austria, while Ocon missed out in P12

Ocon, meanwhile, was left disappointed at coming away with no points, leaving him to look ahead to the upcoming British Grand Prix weekend, which will mark the final stop of a busy triple-header.

“We had a very good start, so I was able to jump in front of Nico [Hulkenberg], who was the target really, we knew it,” the 27-year-old commented. “It was good to be able to be in front of him, but unfortunately after that I just lost ground to all the cars.

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“I was not able to really fight much, the pace wasn’t there. We fought back and we didn’t manage to keep inside the points. A disappointing one today, but we race in a couple of days and hopefully we can do better in Silverstone.”

Addressing his scrap with Gasly, Ocon labelled the battle as “hard and fair racing”, adding: “Nothing really to comment, it was good racing and that’s it.”

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