Alpine CEO admits ‘there will be issues’ between Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has demanded that Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon show maturity during the 2023 season.

With Alpine having sealed fourth in the 2022 Constructors’ Championship, the Enstone-based team are quickly turning their attention to 2023, a year which will see the side have an exciting all-French line-up.

The issue for Alpine is that the partnership of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly is exciting for all the wrong reasons, with the pair understood to not get on despite having grown up as friends.

Personal differences ultimately have to be put to the side in Formula 1, though, with Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi highlighting the importance that the two drivers show that they’ve “transformed into mature leaders”.

Rossi has confirmed that the duo will be allowed to race unless they “hurt” the French side, like Ocon and Fernando Alonso did at the Brazilian Grand Prix a few weeks ago.

READ: Valtteri Bottas goes viral following rap song about him

The Alpine boss insisted that both drivers understand that they need to show a mature side of themselves in the upcoming campaign, something they’ve “affirmed” to Rossi.

“It is high level sport and in the excitement of the moment, there will be issues,” Rossi told L’Equipe.

“The important thing is that it does not penalise the team in terms of performance.

“As I told them (Ocon and Fernando Alonso) this year, we let them race until the team was hurt like in Brazil. So if any problems come up, they will be the big losers because everyone expects that already and many think they are big kids.

Article continues below

“Now they can show that they have transformed into mature leaders. At the end of the contract, they will be approaching 30 years old and it’s dangerous to find yourself pushed out of a team because you haven’t shown sufficient maturity.

“Both are aware of this and they have affirmed it to me individually and together,” Rossi added.

Whilst discussing how he expects the two drivers to work next season, the Frenchman added that the side will treat both drivers as equals next season, with anything other than that resulting in an unhealthy “dynamic”.

“Anything otherwise is not a very healthy dynamic,” he said.

“It imposes a lot on the level of people management, too.

“Apart from perhaps Red Bull, it doesn’t really exist with the other teams either. Ok, the day we aim for titles, maybe we will. Because the drivers’ title is more important than a constructors’ title and it’s a constructor telling you that.”

Whilst Ocon may not be best pleased that a potential rival of his will be alongside him next season, the Alpine driver might be pleased by Rossi confirming that Gasly will “take part in simulator work”.

Rossi said this in response to Ocon’s recent comment that Alonso only completed “two-percent” of the non-racing work last season, with Ocon having held almost sole responsibility for everything behind-the-scenes.

READ: Ex-teammate opens up on tensions with ‘unstoppable’ Sebastian Vettel

“Pierre will also take part in simulator work,” Rossi insisted.

“It is one of the great differentiators. Not all drivers spend time in the simulator but it is certain that today, in the times we live in, it is a critical element.

“This year, with a new car, there was a lot of work to be done and Fernando is not someone who likes to do simulators. But that doesn’t change the incredible driver that he is.”