Martin Brundle’s bitter Esteban Ocon truth amid Monaco disaster as Jack Doohan, Mick Schumacher rumours swirl

It doesn’t take much to get the rumor mill in Formula 1 going at full speed, but when there’s a problem like Esteban Ocon’s disaster in Monaco, it inevitably fuels speculation.

Alpine achieved only its second points finish of the season after Pierre Gasly finished 10th in Monaco, but the success was almost derailed right from the start.

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The race was red-flagged on the first lap after Haas’ Kevin Magnussen clipped Sergio Perez’s rear tyre, leaving his Red Bull a complete wreck. Magnussen’s teammate Nico Hülkenberg was also knocked out of the race.

But on the same lap, just before the red flag, there was an incident when Ocon tried to overtake his teammate Gasly. Ocon was thrown into the air and suffered too much damage to be able to return to the race.

Luckily for Alpine, the rest of the race went like wildfire and Gasly was able to score the team’s second point of the season.

Nevertheless, the team was publicly angry: Alpine team boss Bruno Famin told French broadcaster Canal+ that attempting the maneuver on the first lap was crazy.

“It is sad to see such incidents,” said Famin.

“It’s exactly what we didn’t want to see. Esteban’s attack was completely wrong.”

“It’s exactly what we didn’t want to see and there will be consequences. We’re going to make a difficult decision.”

Ocon, who had been demoted five places on the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix, apologised after the race as he had been criticised for his behaviour.

Sky Sports reported that the penalty for the team could even be so drastic that Ocon will be taken out of the next race, the Canadian Grand Prix.

The speculation began after Famin was seen calling reserve driver and young Australian rider Jack Doohan, who is considered to be the next rider in the team.

Speech on Sky Sports. Ted’s NotebookTed Kravitz said: “I will say that I saw Famin on the roof of the Alpine pit building, he called Jack Doohan, the reserve driver, over for a chat. They were talking. I don’t know what they were talking about. And then Jack Doohan walked away and went down the stairs.”

“I know it’s not exactly Woodward, Bernstein and Watergate, but it’s all I have.

“Does this mean that Famin will punish Esteban Ocon for doing what he told him not to do by benching him for Canada? Maybe. Will he put Doohan in the car? Maybe.”

There has been no statement from the team so far, but Motorsport-Total.com reported that Ocon will be spared for the next race, even though the Alpine drivers have allegedly signed a “non-aggression pact”.

However, it is safe to say that the Frenchman is fighting for his career.

Ocon has been touted as a possible successor to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes seat when the seven-time world champion moves to Ferrari in 2025, but Ocon’s latest action will do him no favors.

The Silver Arrows, a Mercedes junior, confirmed earlier this year that Ocon still had ties to the team, although a move to Audi or Haas was also discussed.

However, with both Ocon’s and Gasly’s contracts expiring at the end of the year, one or both of the Frenchmen could leave the team, which is currently fighting for ninth place in the constructors’ championship.

And Sky Sports’ Martin Brundle said the latest mistake could dash the 27-year-old’s hopes of staying in Formula 1.

“Ocon is a good and fast racer, but history clearly shows that he has an irrational red streak when racing, especially towards his teammates,” Brundle wrote in his post-race column.

“He has been heavily criticised before by Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso for his aggressiveness and contact within the team, and now also by Gasly. Esteban will feel this hard because no top team would tolerate such a mentality, perhaps even no team.

“A driver represents hundreds of hard-working and professional people and hundreds of millions of pounds in investment and sponsorship when he drives for an F1 team. You simply cannot keep attacking your team-mate without restraint.”

In F1, nothing is certain until it is certain, and while Doohan appears to be the next driver in line for Alpine, Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher also appears to be an option for the French team.

Schumacher has also been racing for Alpine in the World Endurance Championship for some time now and Famin has taken notice.

Speaking to Sky Sports Germany, Famin said about Schumacher: “I am very happy with Mick, he is super fast.

“But that’s not the most important thing in the WEC, you have to drive consistently at a high level and have a good team spirit.

“I’m very impressed with him because he has adapted his mindset to endurance racing from day one. He has a very good relationship with his teammates. Everything is open for 2025, everyone is talking to everyone. It would be a mistake not to have Mick on the list.”

Instead of Doohan? Besides Doohan? There is still a lot of work to be done at Alpine as the F1 silly season continues to get sillier.

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