Alpine look likely to go from one difficult situation to another, following a number of reports that Pierre Gasly will sign for the French team for 2023.
The Enstone-based side are still recovering from the debacle of losing Fernando Alonso to Aston Martin and the highly-rated Oscar Piastri to McLaren, following the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board coming to the conclusion that the Aussie can legally sign for the Woking-based team.
Life doesn’t appear to be getting any easier for Alpine, with Esteban Ocon likely to be furious with the side’s bosses should Gasly be signed.
Gasly only recently signed a contract extension with AlphaTauri for 2023; however, Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has explained that the side would be more than happy to let the Frenchman sign for the French team.
The big problem surrounding the matter is that Gasly and Ocon do not get on at all.
The duo had been close friends during their junior days, before a feud and rivalry between the two began after Ocon supposedly became unhappy at Gasly beating him.
The two supposedly don’t get on anymore, with Ocon pushing for Alpine to sign Mick Schumacher for 2023, with the Frenchman being friends with the German.
Ocon “trusts” Alpine to make the right decision; however, ex-F1 driver and Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok is certain that there will be “fireworks” if Alpine sign Gasly.
“I think there will, 100 per cent, be fireworks,” Chandhok told Express Sport.
“It seems to be an issue that started back in their karting days and it’s quite a deeply ingrained issue they had with each other. I think it goes both ways, I don’t know the full ins and outs of it but it’s quite clear there’s no love lost.
“It’ll take a pretty strong bit of management from Alpine to keep a lid on that. Ultimately as a team they’ve got to sign the driver they think will bring them the most points and the best results. If that’s Gasly then they’ve just got to suck it up and somehow make sure it doesn’t boil over.
“They’ve got to be professional about it, they’ve got to be grown up about it. If you had an issue when you were 14 years old in karting, that’s fine, but now you’re in Formula One and you’ve got to be grown-ups about it.”