“They each apologised so they each thought they played a role in it,” Szafnauer said.
“It was just chaos out there, had Pierre not gone wide in Turn 1 – but a lot of people did – then I think he would have been further up the road.
“Esteban at the same time just followed Tsunoda through on the racing line and Pierre didn’t see him and came over to the racing line and just hit him.
“Which is unfortunate as I think we were scoring some good points and a well deserved fifth place for Pierre on merit with good pace.
“When we told him to push and keep up with [Carlos] Sainz he was able to, he wasn’t quite as quick as Sainz but not far off and the end we told him to push and make sure he stayed ahead of [Lance] Stroll and that he could do. The pace was really good here.”
The Stewards reviewed the incident and decided that it was a racing incident, with neither driver to blame.
Despite the disappointing end for the team, Szafnauer says it would not be right to blame one of the drivers for the crash.
“It’s a shame that they came together. As far as trying to blame one or the other I don’t think that’s the right thing to do,” he said.
“The right thing to do is to learn from it. There’s so much chaos there and you’ve got to make quick decisions.
“If you look at the onboard and the replay, [Yuki] Tsunoda gets through, Esteban tries to follow him.
“You don’t know what Pierre’s going to do and Pierre’s just trying to get back to the racing line, it’s not like he’s looking in the mirrors and seeing somebody and saying oh I’m going to block him, he’s looking the other way, getting on the racing line thinking no one is there.”
Alpine currently sit sixth in the Constructors’ standings, falling behind McLaren who scored a double-points finish in Melbourne.