‘You guys like the headlines’: Esteban Ocon admits he won’t be ‘best friends’ with Pierre Gasly

Alpine will have an all-French driver pairing this season after replacing Fernando Alonso with Pierre Gasly.

When the Contract Recognition Board ruled that Alpine Academy driver Oscar Piastri was free to join McLaren for 2023, many wondered who Alpine would be able bring in to replace the Aston Martin-bound Fernando Alonso.

Impressively, the team managed to acquire the services of Pierre Gasly from AlphaTauri, a target who looked previously unattainable due to his links to Red Bull via their sister team.

Gasly will be partnered with fellow Frenchman Esteban Ocon at his new team, a driver with whom he has previously issues with.

The pair fell out when racing in the junior categories some years ago, leading some fans to believe that their relationship at Alpine may turn toxic.

READ: Mercedes promise ‘significant changes’ as they’re set to sandbag in Bahrain

Both drivers have been quick to shut down suggestions that their relationship will be anything other than professional, with both drivers aiming to take Alpine into the podium places in the future.

“I am confident. You guys like the headlines and all these kinds of stories but we are both very professional and we are going to work the way we need to be performing,” said Ocon.

“I don’t think we will ever be best friends but that doesn’t matter really as long as the atmosphere is great inside the team, and that’s how it is at the moment and that’s how it will remain during the year.”

Gasly has been equally confident of working will with his new teammate, claiming that everything is so far so good with Ocon.

Article continues below

“We are grown-up people, more mature, and we are aware of the responsibilities of being Alpine drivers and having such a big group behind us,” said Gasly.

“We have to work closely together if we want to be competitive. That’s why I have no doubt everything will be fine.

READ: AlphaTauri set Nyck de Vries targets after Yuki Tsunoda fired warning

“I have spent more time with him over the last two months than I have spent over the last ten years. Things are going well.”

Former French F1 driver Romain Grosjean has admitted that things could go horribly wrong for Alpine this year, as both drivers could want to be the number one French driver for the French team.

With Ocon sharing tense relationships with a number of his previous teammates such as Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso, Alpine will be hoping that he can form a better friendship with Gasly.