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Gasly and Ocon

Gasly on Ocon: “We’re not friends anymore” so “we’ll see” about Alpine drive

Is Gasly partnering with Ocon at Alpine the best decision?

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AlphaTauri could be paid out by Alpine to get Pierre Gasly on their team for 2023. But having the Frenchman partner fellow countryman, Esteban Ocon, may not be the best idea.

Gasly and Ocon
Esteban Ocon, Force India, and Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, in the press conference during the French GP at Circuit Paul Ricard on June 21, 2018 in Circuit Paul Ricard, France. (Photo by Andy Hone / LAT Images)

Silly season in Formula 1 has been a rather busy time of year for the sport. Since the Hungarian Grand Prix, we’ve seen a retirement, a switch in teams and now court battles. Sebastian Vettel retiring prompted Fernando Alonso to move to Aston Martin. That left the door open for Oscar Piastri at Alpine. However, the Aussie denied any claims about joining the French team full-time.

McLaren were linked to Piastri. The likelihood of that pairing increased as Daniel Ricciardo announced last week that he will be leaving McLaren at the end of the year. Everyone has been predicting who they think will end up where, and one of the speculations is that Gasly could move to Alpine.

Earlier this year, AlphaTauri confirmed that Gasly would be staying with them for 2023. With Gasly staying with AlphaTauri, it would leave the Alpine seat available for the likes of Ricciardo. But, having an all French driver line-up at a French team is appealing for Alpine.

Over the weekend of the Belgian Grand Prix, Sky’s Paul Di Resta shared his thoughts on the potential Gasly-Ocon pairing.

Di Resta’s thoughts

Di Resta said on Sky Sports F1’s broadcast over the weekend that “it’s no secret” Gasly and Ocon don’t “get on too well.” He explained that Ocon isn’t the easiest to get on with as he doesn’t “think too many teammates get on with Ocon”.

The former F1 driver did note, however, that it would be “great” to have an entire French team. Also having Gasly, who was let go by Red Bull back in 2019 to rejoin Toro Rosso, on the team “would be a credit.”

Rachel Brookes, a fellow Sky broadcaster, didn’t share Di Resta’s hesitation. She believes Ocon to be “nothing but charming”.

Gasly’s comments on Ocon and Alpine

Gasly, himself, has given his view on his relationship with Ocon. The AlphaTauri driver explained why things were a bit tense between the two. He stated it began before they even got into Formula 1.

Comments on Ocon

According to Gasly, a rift formed between him and Ocon because:

“I started to beat him and he didn’t like it so we’re not friends any more.”

Gasly added that the pair have “done so many things together” and reflected on the time spent together growing up. He said: “When we were like nine, 10 years old we used to go testing in karting when it was snowing, do five laps then come in because it was so cold. Go out on the track together, trying to get warm and then go back on track for three or four more laps.

“We’ve spent a lot of time together but it got to a point where he got a bit too upset and it wasn’t so nice anymore. So we kind of stopped [socialising]. Then after we always [had] quite a lot of rivalry. I think we respect each other as drivers.”

The rivalry is still present between the two Frenchman. But, Gasly did say that “if [they] don’t talk about racing it’s fine.” He continued his explanation, saying:

“We can spend time together, we respect each other, it doesn’t go further than that.”

Gasly and Ocon
Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon battle for position during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone last year in 2021. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Ocon has also had his say on whether he would want Gasly partnering him next season. The current Alpine driver said he “completely” trusts Laurent Rossi and Otmar Szafnauer. However, he “would like” Mick Schumacher to race with him.

Ocon explained that this is because Schumacher is his “good friend”. But he will ultimately let his team bosses decide.

Comments on Alpine

Over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, Gasly did comment on potentially moving to Alpine. He said:

“At the moment I don’t really want to make too many comments because I haven’t seen anything. The most important is to perform with the car that I have, and then we’ll see.”

Christian Horner, Red Bull’s Team Principal, also shared his thoughts on the situation. He said, they will see what the “outcome with the CRB with Piastri, Alpine and McLaren” is first.

This season, Alpine are fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, whilst AlphaTauri are ninth. In the Drivers’ Championship, Ocon is ahead of Gasly by 46 points. Ocon is eighth on 64 points, whilst Gasly is 14th on 18 points.

Silly season drama is still ongoing, so whether or not the two Frenchmen will become teammates is yet to be seen. News about the outcome of the Alpine-McLaren-Piastri drama is set to be announced in the coming days.

Formula 1 returns this weekend in the Netherlands for Max Verstappen’s home race at Zandvoort.

Headline Feature Image: GettyImages

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