Alpine team-mate drama is perfect F1 soap opera – Canada Up/Down

F1

Team players? No one wants to see that, as the 2024 Canadian GP proved

Esteban Ocon Alpine 2024 Canadian GP Montreal

"Big team player" over here

Alpine

It’s all too nice in F1 these days. Best friends racing at the front? Give us the 2021 needle, the Senna-Prost rankle, Mansell vs Piquet pettiness any day.

That’s why Alpine going into meltdown over two miserly points in Canada is just so delightful.

While fireworks went off at the front, those further down the grid had lost none of their enthusiasm either, with Esteban Ocon – unhappy with having to cede a place to Pierre Gasly – declaring he “always” puts the team first one race after almost nerfing his Alpine colleague out of the Monaco GP. Brilliant stuff.

Here’s what was going up and down in the Montreal GP.

 

Goin’ Up

Up with this sort of thing

Esteban Ocon Pierre Gasly Alpine 2024 Canadian GP Montreal

All a bit tense in the Alpine lodge

Getty Images

Nothing quite like an all-French fallout. After recently booted-for-2025 Esteban Ocon was asked to hand over ninth to Pierre Gasly to let him have a go at Daniel Ricciardo, the former was then oh-so-shocked when his team-mate wouldn’t give it back.

“I did my part of the job, being a team player, being the nice guy,” a driver famous for not being that nice to his team-mates said afterwards.

“You know, I’ve always followed the instructions that I’ve been given [one race after not following instructions to not attack Gasly in Monaco]. Being too nice is not the right attitude to have in Formula 1, but I show that I’m a team player and that’s what matters.”

A lack of self-awareness verging on belligerence. You do love to see it, but Ocon then appeared to kiss and make up with the team in a video afterwards. Here’s hoping they all fall out again in Barcelona.

 

VERtuoso

Max Verstappen Red Bull 2024 Canadian GP Montreal

Sort it out, guys

Red Bull

Even when he’s apparently struggling with a tricky car – and his team-mate is celebrating a new two-year contract by knocking as many corners of his RB20 – Verstappen still schools the rest of the field.

Think everyone else needs to have a word with themselves.

2 Sergio Perez Red Bull 2024 Canadian GP Montreal

Perez’s Red Bull looked a bit agricultural by the time he’d finished with it

 

Winging it

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2024 Canadian GP Montreal

Will Mercedes wing of wonder do the job for the rest of the season?

Mercedes

After two years of coming up with cars which appeared as though Mercedes had been doing aerodynamics with the drawing room lights turned off, it really does look like Brackley has turned a corner (sorry).

Hamilton and Russell were right in the mix in Canada with its improved front wing, hopefully they can help spice up what is usually a not-very-interesting Spanish GP.

 

An actual opinion!

Jacques Villeneuve 2024 Canadian GP Montreal

Villeneuve getting ready to blow the paddock away with another middle-of-the-road opinion

The world of F1 Grid Luvvies™ didn’t quite know how to react as someone said something that wasn’t either ‘Isn’t that nice?’ or ‘He’s had a bad day’, when Jacques Villeneuve expressed the not-very-controversial take that Daniel Ricciardo hasn’t been good for a number of years, he appears to be living off his feel-good-whatever-the-weather reputation and that it’s likely there are other people out there who can do a better job him.

Still, the Australian struck back with a mighty eighth place in the race. That’ll show ’em!

 

Five minutes of fame

Kevin Magnussen Haas 2024 Canadian GP Montreal

Haas: good until it wasn’t

Haas

Haas did the classic thing of pulling a brilliant move by sticking both its drivers on wets when everyone else took intermediates, with Kevin Magnussen slicing his way to fourth, before naffing it up anyway.

Just as all the front-runners were trying to remember who this pushy Danish bloke was, the Banbury-Maranello-Kannapolis axis then completely fluffed his pitstop and sent him back to his natural habitat with the also-rans.

 

Goin’ Down

Marching orders?

Logan Sargeant Williams 2024 Canadian GP Montreal

Poor lad – it’s a long way to Grove from there

Getty Images

It’s going from bad to worse for Logan Sargeant, as James Vowles admitted that Carlos Sainz is Williams’s No1 target to partner Alex Albon. Awkward.

Then the American crashed not once, but twice, in the race.

The question is now as to whether its beleaguered current pilot will even last the entire season?

 

Strategic fall

Charles Leclerc Ferrari 2024 Canadian GP Montreal

Ferrari all at sea in Canada

Ferrari

Ferrari back to its chaotic best as Charles Leclerc was stuck on a set of hard slicks as the heavens opened. Fabulous, it’s like 2022 all over again.

 

McLaren slip-up

Lando Norris McLaren 2024 Canadian GP Montreal

Missed opportunity for Macca?

McLaren

McLaren wasn’t looking too dandy in the pits either, when it missed a golden opportunity to consolidate Norris’s lead when the safety car came out.

“We didn’t do a good enough job as a team to box when we should have done and not get stuck behind the safety car,” said the driver following the race.

“So I don’t think it was a luck or unlucky kind of thing.

“I don’t think it was the same as Miami. This was just making a wrong call. It’s on me and it’s on the team and it’s something we’ll discuss after.”