Pierre Gasly discusses bitter rivalry with Esteban Ocon and current dynamic

Jamie Woodhouse
Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly sat next to the A523. February 2023.

Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly sat next to the A523. February 2023.

Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon have a complicated past, but working together at Alpine is proving to be “very easy” according to Gasly.

When Fernando Alonso announced that he would be departing Alpine at the end of 2022 to switch to Aston Martin, Alpine made the move to prise Gasly away from the Red Bull fold and create an all-French driver line-up as he became team-mate to Ocon.

There were some eyebrows raised regarding this news though, considering it is rather well-documented that the pair of Normandy natives have not always been the best of friends in the past.

Or as Gasly terms it, they have certainly had their “ups and downs”.

Seven rounds of the F1 2023 campaign have now passed though and there has been no sign of tempers flaring between the duo, Gasly instead talking up the efficiency of their Alpine partnership.

“We’ve known each other since we were nine years old, 18 years ago now,” Gasly told Mundo Deportivo. “Obviously we know each other very well and we have our ups and downs, everyone knows that.

“During this season we have both gone forward. I want the best for the team and to be the best, the same for him. So far it’s been very easy to work with him.”

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Similarly to last season, Alpine made a rather slow start to the F1 2023 campaign, that drawing the wrath of CEO Laurent Rossi.

But recent outings have represented improved showings, with Ocon scoring Alpine’s first podium of the season by claiming P3 at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Gasly then was asked whether he has his eyes set on joining the podium scene this season as well, and he does have confidence that it is an achievable goal, saying the challenge for Alpine is to progress to the stage where they can be a regular challenger.

“Well, if you ask me I would say I want to finish on the podium in every race, but will we have the performance to do it several times? I don’t know,” he said.

“I’m confident we’ll have the chance again and the objective is to be ready, to find the performance to put ourselves in the position to fight for it constantly.”

Alpine are now starting to move away from the lower midfield battle with the next challenge being to join the scrap between Mercedes, Aston Martin and Ferrari ahead, Ferrari the team in that trio currently on the back foot.

Heading into the Canadian Grand Prix, Ferrari boast 100 points in the Constructors’ Championship to Alpine’s 40.