Alpine CEO calls Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon ‘big kids’ as he sends fiery warning

Alpine’s 2022 driver pairing turned toxic after clashes between Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.

Alpine will have an all-French driver line-up in 2023 after a complex domino effect involving Fernando Alonso, Oscar Piastri and Pierre Gasly saw the latter driver freed from the Red Bull system to race for the French team.

The team initially wanted to replace the Aston Martin-bound Alonso with their young driver Piastri.

However after it was ruled by the FIA Contract Recognition Board that the Australian was free to race for McLaren, having already signed a contract to replace Daniel Ricciardo, Alpine were forced to look elsewhere.

Gasly was thought to be an ambitious target, but Red Bull agreed to not stand in the way of the AlphaTauri driver’s wishes and agreed a reasonable fee for his release from the Red Bull system.

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The 26-year-old will partner Esteban Ocon in 2023, but despite the pair being of a similar age and from the same nation, it has been rumoured that sparks could fly between the pair, similar to how Ocon fell out with current teammate Alonso in 2022.

The pair did not share a particularly friendly relationship during their time battling with each other in the junior categories and Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has been quick to warn his drivers about the consequences should a similar situation arise next season.

“If any problems come up, they will be the losers because everyone expects that and many think they are big kids,” explained the Alpine CEO.

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“At the end of the contract. They will approach 30 years [of age]. They must not mess up because it is 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.”

Both Ocon and Gasly have addressed the rumours that Alpine could be home to another toxic relationship in 2023, and how both suggested that any issues between themselves have been long forgotten about.

Alpine will be targeting podium finishes in 2023 and beyond, which matches up well with the profiles of their drivers, who in their mid-twenties, will be looking to improve and develop into world-class drivers alongside the development of their team.