Pierre Gasly reckons if people want to talk about his relationship with his new team-mate Esteban Ocon, they need to “talk about 60 per cent of the paddock”.
After nine years with the Red Bull family, Gasly said goodbye at the end of the 2022 season having signed with Alpine.
Joining Ocon as one half of the French team’s all-French line-up, much is expected from the Enstone team’s new line-up.
But on that list of much is a fair amount of tension and the potential for an on-track clash or two.
It has widely been reported that the boyhood friends fell out as the years went by and they fought for race wins in motor racing’s junior series.
Both, however, insists that’s in the past with Gasly saying talk of tension between the two is spoken about “too often”.
“I think this is a subject that is talked about far too often,” he told Motorsport.com. “We get along well.
“We may not be best friends, but we can go through a door together.”
And that, it seems, is something not every team can say about their line-up with the Frenchman revealing there are team-mate issues within more than half of the 10 teams on the grid.
“When I go over the paddock and the relationships between other team-mates, there are certainly relationships that are worse than ours,” Gasly continued.
“If the relationship between Esteban and me needs to be discussed, you can talk about 60 per cent of the paddock.
“So no, it’s fine between us.”
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In fact he reckons there will be a good rivalry between the two 26-year-olds.
“I think it will be a healthy rivalry,” he said, “and in the end that’s why we both made it to Formula 1. We all pushed each other to the highest level possible, so I’m not worried.”
Gasly is adamant he doesn’t mind who he partners, he just wants to be the best and get the best results he can for both himself and his team.
“I know that Esteban is an extremely good driver,” he added. “He showed that next to Fernando [Alonso].
“He finished level with Fernando in the championship, so he is performing very well.
“In the end it doesn’t really matter who is next to me. I want to be the best in F1 and to do that you have to compete against everyone who is in the sport right now.
“He knows the team and I know he is fast.”