Alpine must monitor the relationship between Gasly and Ocon
Romain Grosjean has suggested that Alpine’s choice to have two French drivers on the team in 2023 could lead to conflicts and tension as they compete to be the lead driver.
Fernando Alonso has left the team at the end of 2022 and Pierre Gasly from AlphaTauri has been brought in to take his place, forming an all-French driver lineup alongside Esteban Ocon for the 2023 season.
Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon both hail from the same region in northern France and were childhood friends and competitors in karting. However, since both made it to Formula 1, there has been a reported animosity between them.
Both Gasly and Ocon have stated that any past conflicts are now in the past, and the team’s boss, Otmar Szafnauer, is confident that they will be able to collaborate effectively to help the Alpine team maintain their fourth place position or better in the Constructors Championship.
However, Grosjean, who has previously driven for the team when it was Renault and Lotus and later moved to Haas before leaving F1 in 2020 after a major accident in Bahrain, fears that the relationship within the Enstone team may become difficult and potentially explosive if the two French drivers are not able to work well together.
“Alpine will have to keep an eye on the relationship between the two of them. If it turns into a competition for egos to be the top French driver in the only French team, things can get bad,” Grosjean said.
“But it can also go really well,” Grosjean added, suggesting that the competition between them could also drive both drivers to perform at their best this season.
“They are two guys who were not best friends when they were young,” he continued. “But they have matured a lot, they both know what it’s like to win a race,” Grosjean said.
Both Gasly and Ocon have previously won races in their F1 career, Gasly won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 2020, and Ocon took his first victory at the Hungarian GP in 2021. However, both drivers did not finish on the podium last season, as Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes dominated the season.
“They both have a Formula 1 win,” Grosjean acknowledged. “If they do fit well together and can work well together, it could be a very nice and fun success story for a brand like Alpine. That’s one of my wishes,” he said.
Since leaving F1, Grosjean has moved to the US where he has been competing for the Andretti Autosport team in the open-wheel NTT IndyCar Series along with another F1 alumni, Alexander Rossi.
Alpine relationship Gasly Ocon Alpine relationship Gasly Ocon
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