Alpine did not pit Esteban Ocon at the Turkish Grand Prix due to safety concerns, according to Marcin Budkowski.
Because a pit stop was not required due to the wet conditions at Istanbul Park, Ocon, Charles Leclerc, and Lewis Hamilton elected to race to the finish on the intermediate tyres he started on.
Despite the fact that both Leclerc and Hamilton eventually pitted, the Frenchman completed the race and earned a point, crossing the line in P10 moments before the Alfa Romeos passed him.
By the end of the race, his front-right tyre was in such horrible condition that he intends to store it in the team factory.
“I don’t know when is the last time that nobody had a pit stop,” said Ocon.
“It was a risk today that we took. It paid off in the end because we got a point out of it.
“It doesn’t look great in the end, that tyre… I think we’ll hang it on the wall in the factory.
“It’s good because, as I said, it paid off.”
Despite the fact that a huge part of rubber was missing, the team did not appear to be concerned about the strategy’s safety.
“Up until a few laps towards the end, we didn’t know if we would make it,” said Budkowski, executive director of Alpine.
“The reality is at some point, it was clear that stopping him in the middle of the race wasn’t necessarily going to be quicker because we would have had to go through the graining phase on the inters anyway.
“We decided to leave him out based on what other people were doing but also on his feedback, he was quite happy with his tyres at that stage, and waiting for a safety car or the track to dry enough to put on dry tyres, not knowing if we would make it to the end.
“As he went on, we were looking at the data very closely, we were getting his feedback looking at the onboard cameras thinking ‘Actually, we can push this to the end. Let’s do it’.
“Obviously, we wouldn’t have left him out on track if it was a safety concern but he was there or thereabouts. It was feasible to do that.”
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