‘They will never happen’: Fernando Alonso reacts to apparent rift with Esteban Ocon

Fernando Alonso beat Esteban Ocon to eighth place in Budapest.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso has allayed fears that there is a rift between himself and team-mate Esteban Ocon after the pair went at it during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Ocon qualified fifth ahead of Alonso in Budapest, and the Frenchman moved across aggressively off the start as Alonso got a better launch.

This move forced the 41-year-old to back out as they headed down to Turn One, and he expressed his frustration over the radio.

Both Alpines were passed by Sir Lewis Hamilton going into the first corner, before both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez made their way through having started 10 and 11th respectively.

READ: Fernando Alonso reveals why he has decided to join Aston Martin

Later on in the afternoon, they were passed by Daniel Ricciardo when Ocon came out of the pits, and the team-mate tripped over each other again through Turn Two, allowing the Australian to swoop past them.

Ricciardo’s pace dwindled after that and he found himself down in 15th after finishing P13 on track due to a penalty for hitting Lance Stroll.

Alonso affirmed after the race, while speaking to RacingNews365.com, that he was not too upset about the battles with Ocon.

“Obviously Daniel was on a different strategy, so I was not too concerned at that moment, it was not too big of a deal,” he explained.

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“We always try to race hard but always give that one percent of margin to avoid having any incident.

“We have never had any [incidents], and they will never happen.”

Were the roles reversed, the double world champion conceded that he likely would have done the same thing as his Frenchman.

“You are going to be surprised by that defence, sometimes I do the same, sometimes he does the same,” added Alonso.

The Spaniard beat Ocon to eighth as neither Alpine managed to catch Norris, largely because they did not have any fresh sets of Mediums to put onto, so spent a large part of the race on the Hards.

In the end, the French side just did not have the speed in the race to finish any higher.

“We were too slow, that was the problem,” added Alonso.

READ: Fernando Alonso lashes out at Esteban Ocon as Alpine relationship risks breaking down

“I don’t think that a one-stop strategy was particularly worse than the two-stop, but our pace today was not as good as yesterday.

“I don’t know if it was down to the conditions, the wind, or the temperature but we seemed to be struggling with both compounds.

“All-in-all I think to score the same points as McLaren, we have to be proud and we have to be happy with the result, but probably had higher expectations after starting fifth and sixth.”

Since the race, Aston Martin have confirmed that they have signed Alonso to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel in 2023.

Alpine will therefore likely sign Oscar Piastri next year but, for now, they still have a four-point lead to defend from McLaren in the battle for fourth going into the last nine races of 2022.