Ocon reveals what Alonso is like as a team-mate

Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso share a joke as teammates for Alpine. Imola, April 2022

Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso share a joke as teammates for Alpine. Imola, April 2022

Esteban Ocon has spoken out about how Fernando Alonso isn’t as difficult a team-mate as might have been expected.

Fernando Alonso’s reputation of being a fearsome team-mate isn’t deserved, according to Ocon, who is in his second year alongside the Spaniard at the Alpine squad.

Ocon has described Alonso as a “very funny guy”, with whom he shares “a lot of great banter”, with the young Frenchman revealing that he was warned to “be careful” around Alonso when they were confirmed as team-mates coming into the 2021 season.

“I got told that by a lot of people in the paddock – to be careful,” Ocon said on the Beyond the Grid podcast.

“‘Fernando is tough with his team-mates, he plays mind games’, and all these types of things.

“I thought, ‘let’s see’ – I want to make my own judgement.

“I remember when he came in, probably the first time was at Imola [in 2020] and he was just listening, just being there and not really giving his opinion at the time. He had his test role, he was doing a lot of testing and I was just trying to learn and see how things were going with him.”

Ocon revealed that he and Alonso share a mutual obsession for racing, perhaps to a greater extent than even other racing drivers.

“When he joined, I realised we have a lot in common. I don’t know how much the other [drivers] like cars and racing in general, but I think we both love racing more than any others here. And, you know, he’s proving it by what he does,” Ocon explained.

“He has won two titles, [he’s won] one of the most prestigious races in the world (the 24 Hours of Le Mans), and he still comes back to F1 to give his everything on the track. And he’s still as fast as he was!”


Despite some hard racing between the pair, the on-track battles have remained clean, with none of the intra-team angst that Ocon had alongside Sergio Perez at Force India – the two team-mates colliding on several occasions during 2017 and 2018.

“It’s different, very different,” Ocon explained.

“With Checo [Perez], it was close but we didn’t complete the races. So, it went to the point where it was too close. With Fernando, when we race, it never gets to the point where we damage anything – we know how far we can push it. We’ve done that in Jeddah, in Zandvoort, we’ve done that in different races, and it’s going to be close the whole time!

“We will get close on the track, the team lets us race – they trust us. I’ll take care of that as well, because I know the trust they put in us. I’m careful when I race Fernando. It will be close, but it will be [under] control.

“I’m very happy to be his teammate. It’s an honour to be working alongside him. It’s great that we push each other so much, because that brings the team to a level that probably we didn’t have in the past.

“I know I can trust him on that side.”

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