Fernando Alonso will partner Esteban Ocon at the Alpine F1 Team this year – and, just days ahead of the Spaniard’s return to Formula One, Mika Häkkinen has said he “wouldn’t trust” Ocon.
“I would like to say something positive but I don’t know Ocon that well,” Häkkinen said.
“From the outside, based on comments and interviews, he’s not necessarily the kind of team-mate I would want.
“You need to trust your team-mate. You talk and share things.
“You need to trust your team-mate and I wouldn’t necessarily trust Ocon. That’s a harsh thing to say but that’s how it is,” he added.
Continuing, he suggested that Ocon may have some “ulterior motives” which can lead to him not always being a team player.
“My opinion might be a bit rude because I don’t personally know him, but you can draw certain conclusions by listening to people’s interviews, answers and conversations.
“How they talk about the subject, what their ulterior motives are – you can make some conclusions.”
Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo seemed to have a reasonably healthy relationship at Renault last season, but the Frenchman often fell out with Sergio Perez at Racing Point a few years ago.
The pair collided on a number of occasions while they were team-mates, and the team eventually banned them from racing one another.
Ocon and fellow Frenchman Pierre Gasly also reportedly have a strained relationship for reasons which aren’t clear.
In the same interview, Häkkinen said he expects Ocon to be “overshadowed” by Alonso despite the Spaniard spending a couple of seasons outside of Formula One.
“Fernando is a real matador. He will approach the season in a way that Ocon will be overshadowed,” Häkkinen said.
“I don’t think Ocon has any chances. He has experience and speed but Fernando won’t give him any chances.
“Fernando is back into F1. He’s going to give his everything but winning requires a powerful engine.
“It’s as simple as that. They need a powerful engine.
“Does the engine have enough power to overtake on the straights? To enter the braking zone and pass down the inside? I doubt it.
“Without power, it doesn’t matter how good the aerodynamics or drivers are. Every aspect needs to be just right.
“If all the elements aren’t right, there won’t be results,” the Finn concluded.