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As Ocon tensions skyrocket, Schumacher poised for F1 return

As Ocon tensions skyrocket, Schumacher poised for F1 return
© Reuters
Mick Schumacher might find himself back in the Formula 1 driver's seat sooner than anticipated, possibly due to developments involving Esteban Ocon.

Mick Schumacher might find himself back in the Formula 1 driver's seat sooner than anticipated, possibly due to developments involving Esteban Ocon.

Following a first-lap incident at the Monaco Grand Prix, Esteban Ocon attracted severe criticism not just from his Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly, but also from their team principal Bruno Famin.

Gasly criticized the move as a violation of "respect" concerning a team directive established before the race, leading to Famin's vehement response on French television.

"Esteban's manoeuvre was completely inappropriate. We will learn from it," he declared on Canal Plus.

Famin expressed to interviewer Franck Montagny that the episode "compromised the team," indicating, "That's why we're going to take a tough decision and we will take it quickly."

The race officials imposed a stiff penalty on Ocon, adding two penalty points to his super license and demoting him five grid positions for the upcoming race in Montreal.

Even as Gasly appears likely to remain with Alpine into 2025, Ocon was reportedly exploring other team options during the Monaco weekend.

Ayao Komatsu, the Haas team principal, hinted at potential changes on Saturday: "If someone comes to see us, has an interest in us, I will not close the door. Esteban is one of them, but one of many."

After his early exit from the race at Monaco, Ocon admitted fault on social media and apologized. However, when a Viaplay reporter mentioned having "some information from Bruno Famin," Ocon abruptly ended the conversation and walked away.

Former F1 driver Timo Glock believes significant discord has surfaced at Alpine during its bid to recover from a profound performance slump.

"I think there's unrest between the two drivers. Neither is happy with their current situation at Alpine," he observed to Sky Deutschland. "That's why there is a great opportunity for Mick."

Mick Schumacher, currently a reserve for Mercedes and an active participant in Alpine's WEC team, was mentioned by Famin as a potential candidate for their F1 lineup.

"Everything is open for 2025," he remarked. "Everyone talks to everyone. Mick is super fast, but in the WEC you also have to have a good team spirit. He has a very good relationship with his teammates. It would be a mistake not to have Mick on the list," Famin concluded.

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Esteban Ocon at the Japanese GP on September 22, 2023
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