Formula 1’s stewards have decided that they will take no further action on the incident involving Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso during the first stage of the Sao Paulo Sprint Shootout earlier this morning.

The pair had come together in the dying moments of SQ1 when Ocon set off on his final qualifying effort.

On-board footage from the Alpine appeared to show the Frenchman lose control of the car momentarily when rounding Turn 2.

However, by that time the Alpine had found itself off the racing line and on a collision course with the slow-moving Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso.

The pair came together with the assistance of a slight jink to the left from Alonso, resulting in a sizeable impact for Ocon who ended his session rearwards in the outside barrier.

Alonso would limp back to the pits but was prevented from returning for SQ2 as a result of damage sustained in the incident.

While Alonso claimed it was a case of ‘wrong place, wrong time’, Ocon refuted claims that he had lost control of the car and was heard lambasting the Spaniard over the team radio immediately after the crash.

“It’s a difficult one to swallow because we were on for a good improvement on that lap we were going to go through in SQ2,” the Alpine driver told the media.

“But we found Fernando in the way. I heard people saying I lost the car, it’s not true. We had corrections like that throughout the whole paddock, even on Lando [Norris’] quickest lap he had a correction there and ran wide like this.

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team.
03.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Qualifying Day.
–, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

“Fernando steered to the left in the middle of the corner and didn’t leave enough space and we collided,” he continued, blaming Alonso solely for the accident.

“But in the end it doesn’t matter about that, that’s something that happened, obviously we will now go on and focus on the race.”

Following a post-session investigation into the coming together, the stewards determined that no penalties would be applied with no driver predominantly to blame.

“The Stewards determined that ALO was aware that OCO was approaching at high speed on the exit of turn 2. Thus, ALO moved off the racing line so that OCO could pass,” the incident report read.

“At turn 3, OCO lost the balance of the car and went wide on the exit. At the same time, ALO turned more towards the racing line giving less room for OCO. The combination of these two elements lead to the collision.

“The Stewards determined that no driver was wholly or predominantly to blame. Therefore, no penalty is applied.”

Separately, the Stewards handed reprimands to Lando Norris and Yuki Tsunoda for exceeding the 1:14.0 time limit set between the Safety Car lines on their cooldown laps.

Both drivers were on cool-down laps when they were caught out by Charles Leclerc exiting the pits in SQ1 and had to slow down to build suitable gaps between the three drivers.

While the Stewards accepted that both drivers made a ‘reasonable effort’ to not interfere with the car in front, the cool-down laps of both drivers was not impacted by cars behind.

Therefore, it was decided that both could have done more to manage the delta time in an appropriate manner and considered the reprimand an appropriate response.

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