Esteban Ocon makes Pierre Gasly ‘help’ claim amid tensions

Esteban Ocon will be partnered by fellow Frenchman Pierre Gasly at Alpine next season.

Alpine were left scrambling for a Fernando Alonso replacement earlier this season, after the Spaniard announced that he would be making a surprise move to Aston Martin in 2023 to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel.

A legal dispute with Oscar Piastri saw the Australian leave the Alpine driver academy to race for McLaren, leaving Alpine frustrated and still without a partner for Esteban Ocon in 2023.

Pierre Gasly initially looked like an unattainable target for the team as he was highly rated in the Red Bull system and a key part of AlphaTauri’s plans for the future.

Red Bull understood Gasly’s wishes to compete for podiums however and negotiated a fair price for his release from their system, not standing in the way of the Frenchman’s dream move.

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While Gasly will be pleased to have a fellow Frenchman to learn the ropes from when he links up with the team, Ocon does not believe it will take long for his new teammate to adapt to life at Alpine.

“I don’t think he’s going to need much help. I think Pierre is very experienced,” said Ocon.

“He’s driven for different teams, he’s driven a lot in testing also prior to that. It’s always a learning curve of understanding the car, how you work.

“Straightaway we need to be able to score, and to give good feedback to the team, to really improve it. We need to keep going that way, and Pierre will be a good asset for that.”

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The pair have previously had their problems during the junior racing categories, but both drivers have been quick to suggest that they have put their tense past behind them and are confident of having a strong relationship at Alpine.

There is a lot of excitement surrounding Alpine at the moment, as their new driver lineup have been promised a more reliable power unit in 2023 by Renault, who claim that the water pump and fuel pump was the root cause of their problems last year.

With both drivers being experienced but still young, there is a lot of potential at the French team as they build for the future, with a genuine expectation building that Alpine can become regular podium contenders in the next couple of years.