Contrary to what many people think, Esteban Ocon claims he gets along well with Pierre Gasly and wouldn’t mind working at Alpine with him.
As young, competitive kart racers, Ocon and Gasly had a time when they were completely inseparable. The two were reunited in Formula 1 back in 2017, although earlier conflicts are now considered to be water under the bridge.
Ocon openly declared that his friend Mick Schumacher would be his first pick to take Fernando Alonso’s spot at Alpine after it was revealed that the Spaniard would be moving to Aston Martin for the 2023 season.
All signs, however, show that Red Bull will permit Gasly’s early release from his employment commitments with the energy drink company and his move to Alpine.
“I mean, whoever will be on my side, I think the important thing for me is to, you know, guide the team in the best way possible, develop the car as best as we can and yeah, to have respect, you know, between both drivers and a good atmosphere. I think that’s important,” Ocon said.
“With Pierre, we have a good relationship. There is no problem. We have respect between each other… Whoever will be on my side, I’m sure the team will do the best choice possible, we will be able to race.”
According to Sky F1’s Paul di Resta, the pairing of Ocon and Gasly at Alpine won’t be trouble-free.
“I don’t think too many teammates get on with Ocon, to be honest,” said the former F1 driver. “You heard Fernando on the radio, they work together on track but off it? He can be quite difficult… Sergio Perez had the same issue.
“This is about compensation for [Alpine] to be able to then get Gasly. A double-French line-up would be great… Gasly in that system, with the way he is driving, would be a credit.”