Esteban Ocon wouldn’t have a problem with Pierre Gasly being his team-mate at Alpine in 2023.
Who will be driving alongside Ocon next season is currently very much unclear following Fernando Alonso’s decision to leave the French team for Aston Martin.
Alpine had hoped it would be Oscar Piastri but, after announcing him, it emerged that he’d already signed a deal to drive for McLaren next year.
While that matter is to go to court, with Ocon’s team feeling the Aussie had already signed a valid contract with them, it’s likely that he’ll drive for the British team next year regardless.
As a result, a driver from outside the team will need to be brought in, and recent rumours have suggested that they’ll try to sign Gasly from AlphaTauri.
Ocon has apparently not always enjoyed the best relationship with his compatriot, but nonetheless says there wouldn’t be any problem between the two if they were to be team-mates.
“We respect each other and that’s all that matters,” he said.
Team principal Otmar Szafnauer also isn’t worried about the reported bad blood between the two drivers.
Having worked with Ocon at Racing Point and Alpine, he’s confident that the 25-year-old will happily work with whoever is across the garage from him.
“We have to have drivers who get along,” he said.
“But I think Esteban – and I’ve had him with Sergio (Perez) and now Fernando (Alonso) – is a professional.
“He will drive with whoever is next to him and whoever is best for the team. That’s really what we need to focus on.”
Along with Gasly, Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher are the two other drivers who have been most heavily linked with the free seat at the team.
Ocon was team-mates with Ricciardo in 2020 and encountered no problems with the 33-year-old.
Nevertheless, his first choice would be Schumacher, who he is good friends with.
“I don’t know Mick’s contractual situation in detail,” he said.
“But as I understand it, he hasn’t signed anything for 2023 yet, so I said to my people – let’s get Mick!”
Alpine’s chances of signing Schumacher have recently gone up with the German now cutting his ties with Ferrari at the end of the current campaign.
What’s more, Haas seem very much open to replacing the son of Michael for next year and beyond.