‘I’m sorry to disappoint you’: Esteban Ocon on Pierre Gasly drama

Pierre Gasly has switched to Alpine for 2023, after taking Fernando Alonso's vacant seat.

Alpine duo Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon have opened up on the start of their new partnership together, following speculation ahead of the new season that the pair don’t get on.

Neither driver has hidden over the years that they’ve had their issues, with something believed to have happened during their junior career.

They had been friends growing up before something occurred, with Ralf Schumacher having revealed that there had been an incident regarding a girlfriend.

Nothing of the such has ever been confirmed, with Schumacher having simply revealed a rumour that he’d heard.

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Regardless, though, it was clear that the pair weren’t fond of one another.

With that in mind, being team-mates perhaps isn’t what either driver wished for; however, in Formula 1 you can’t let a childhood rivalry get in the way of an excellent seat in the paddock.

Alpine are certainly on the up and are expected to be right at the front of the midfield again in the forthcoming season, with some predicting that a couple podiums may also be possible.

If they can put their differences to the side, then Ocon and Gasly are actually an incredibly exciting duo, who have both proven to be extremely fast when given a well set-up car.

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Gasly has revealed that himself and Ocon know that they’ve “got to work well together” for the sake of the team, with the Frenchman believing that himself and his team-mate are “much more mature” nowadays and can deal with their differences.

“It’s been good, I think it’s been really good,” he told media, including PlanetF1.com.

“Obviously, we’ve spent more time together in the past few months than we’ve spent over the last eight to 10 years.

“I think it was very important and I’m pleased with the way that we’ve been handling things with Esteban. We’re both grown-up people now, much more mature, and aware of the responsibilities that we have representing a team like Alpine with the Renault group behind us.

“I’ve got no doubt that we will be able to work very closely and work really well to push the team forward and it is going to benefit all of us. We’ve got to work well together, and then we’ll push the team forward to performing the best way we can.”

Ocon echoed Gasly’s comments and joked that there won’t be “any headlines” this season regarding their partnership; however, he did admit that he’ll never “be best friends” with his new team-mate.

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“No stories, I’m sorry to disappoint you. There’s not gonna be any headlines!” he told media, including PlanetF1.com.

“We are never going to be best friends, but what’s important for us is to keep the flow, growing together, which creates debate, creates solutions with the team, and that’s how it’s been in motorsport forever.

“The drivers work together and notify an issue, or identify the way to work and then teams come up with some kind of revolution and that’s what we need to try and get from our team to be able to fight for the front.”