Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso thought it was hard but fair racing between Alpine duo in F1 Saudi Arabian, but he expects some discussions.

A sixth place finish and eight points was the grand sum of Alpine’s weekend with Ocon getting those after Alonso retired late on. It was a good result which may of course had been more fruitful had the Spaniard not retired due to suspected power loss.

It was a great start by both with George Russell’s Mercedes being sandwiched by the pair where Ocon ran fifth and Alonso seventh. The Brit got past and a fierce battle ensued with the Spaniard almost hitting the wall in his tussle with the Frenchman.

Lap 7 saw the Spaniard get past into turn with Ocon eventually conceding the position after few laps of near-crash moments. It allowed Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas to catch them with the Finn eventually getting the better of the Frenchman for seventh.

The battle between the two Alpine drivers was certainly on the limit. Team principal Otmar Szafnauer on Sky Sports F1 stressed on ‘let them race’ policy. There were not many radio exchanges broadcasted until the one where the team asked Ocon to hold position.

Alonso kept track position for remainder of the race until  Lap 36. While running eighth and after a good battle against Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, Alonso came over the radio with a ‘no power’ message and eventually retired in agony after a solid outing.

The remaining 14 laps saw Ocon battle for sixth and he held off Lando Norris just as the chequered flag dropped. He actually lost the place a lap before but came back at the start of the final lap to pass the McLaren and retake and defend the place until the end.

Of course he has been here before as he got pipped last year for a podium, so there were no mistakes this time around. For Ocon, it has been a consistent enough start and seemed happy with his result in the race and also enthused about his battle with Alonso.

“I regained a position this year so a bit of a revenge on last year,” said Ocon to TV media.  “It was good racing for sure with Lando at the end. It was good racing the whole race really and its been two very solid weeks for us and we have a lot of points, so I’m pretty pleased how it has gone the last two weekends.

“With Alonso, it was hard but fair racing. With Fernando, I know how far I can go, he knows how far he can go as well. But yeah it’s been a nice one and we need to keep going in that direction to boost the team performance in the end as we are racing so closely.

“I think definitely we are going to discuss about it that we need to be careful but as I said, he knows how far we both can go, I have a lot of trust when I race with him and it is all fair,” summed up Ocon, who has points from both outings now.

Alonso didn’t elaborate much, but appeared to enjoy the inter team battle with his younger teammate. “It was very good, obviously very intense,” he said. “We had touched in Bahrain, another fight so…my car for whatever reason felt faster than Esteban’s car, so I had more pace, tried to overtake and pull away which is what I did and concentrate on Bottas, he was very fast as well.

“The battle with Esteban on track was fair, we always respect one another out there. We lost a lot of points and we gave points to other teams so let’s see in Australia,” summed up Alonso. Overall, it was a good strong competitive battle between the two and a consistent enough start for Alpine in the 2022 season.

The battle at times looked fierce and probably had Alpine top brass sweating expecting the worst but Szafnauer was happy the way the drivers behaved in the battle. He did note to written media about giving a free hand early on, but they will tighten the screws towards the end, so as to take no risk of losing points.

“It’s clear our car has the potential to fight for big points as demonstrated by both of our drivers,” said Szafnauer. “We’re happy to let them race hard and fair as, in the end, having both drivers extracting the absolute maximum from the car is what we’re here to do.”

Here’s the battle between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon:

Here’s how F1 Saudi Arabian GP panned out