‘I can fight anyone’: Defiant Esteban Ocon fires Pierre Gasly warning

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon has gained a reputation for being too aggressive when racing his teammates.

During his time in Formula 1, Esteban Ocon has had multiple close shaves with his teammates, sometimes even colliding with them.

While driving for Force India earlier in his career, Ocon’s relationship with his teammate Sergio Perez completely broke down, with crashes involving the pair becoming a common sight on race weekends.

The Frenchman’s time partnered with Fernando Alonso at Alpine ended in a similarly toxic situation, with the pair colliding in Brazil last year and causing Alonso to count down the days until he could leave the team.

Ocon will be partnered with fellow Frenchman Pierre Gasly this season and the pair have previously had their differences, sharing a tense relationship when racing against each other in the junior categories.

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With many fans expecting the Alpine driver pairing to have matured since having their issues in the past, Ocon has suggested that yet another of his relationships could boil over, with the 26-year-old not intending on changing his aggressive driving style when up against Gasly.

“I mean, I’m a racing driver. I’m competing to beat everyone,” Ocon said at the recent A523 launch.

“That’s how I’ve been racing my whole life and that’s how I’ve succeeded and won title in the past. And that’s how, in the end, I’ve beaten Fernando as well – racing the way I want to race.

“For me, the important [thing] is obviously to score the points, work together with Pierre. That’s very important.

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“But I want to fight anyone. And I believe I can fight anyone. I’m happy to be racing that way and that’s how I’ve raced my whole life.”

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Former French F1 driver Romain Grosjean has admitted that the relationship between Ocon and Gasly could turn toxic this year, with both drivers wanting to be the main driver leading the French team.

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has been very stern with his drivers, reminding them that he would not hesitate to make a change, should they not show maturity this year.

Both Ocon and Gasly has expressed their confidence in maintaining a respectful relationship with each other, however the truth will not truly be known until the 2023 season gets underway in Bahrain.