Fernando Alonso decided to return to Formula 1 in the 2021 season with the Alpine team after two years out of the highest category of motorsport. At Enstone he met Esteban Ocon as a teammate, a French driver who was the team’s bet for the future, as could be seen with his long-term renewal.
The breakup of the Spaniard with the Gauls has caused a strange feeling inside the garage, and it is normal to see statements from the top managers of the group praising the one from Évreux for his ability to lead the development of the single-seater despite the fact that the two-time world champion is the one with the most experience in the Great Circus.
However, both parties have expressed their desire to finish the current campaign in the best possible way to face 2023 with high expectations, although the development of said single-seater is solely the responsibility of Esteban Ocon, as he himself acknowledged.
“I’m already leading my team in terms of development on how the car feels, I’m guiding the team to bring the next updates to the track and say what area they need to focus on.” “Driving, Fernando [Alonso] and I are quite firm, and in the end we have very similar comments on how the car feels.
“Sometimes I’m a bit more specific saying what I need, and other times Fernando goes in the same direction but points to something else, but in the end we go in the same direction,” Ocon said.
“Regarding next year, for sure I’ll be the most experienced driver in the team, so it’s interesting, and I’m ready to take on that role.”
In addition to this, the Frenchman explained his current teammate’s way of riding: “Removing the steering lock force that Fernando puts in, it’s exactly the same. I tend to brake a little later than him, and I also usually go well in high-speed corners.
“Alonso turns a bit like Sergio Pérez,” he said. “Basically his driving style is a bit like Sergio, so it’s something I’ve already seen in the past from other drivers.
Recalling the comments that some experts made about him when Alonso’s signing for Alpine was announced, which assured that he could put an end to his sporting career in the highest category, the Frenchman answered with a lot of self-confidence.
“Yes, I heard it too, but I’m still here, right? It’s a good comparison to what started last year, both in qualifying and in the race. Fernando is very, very fast, I don’t think he has anything to prove to no one”.
“And to those who say ‘who knows how much you learned from Fernando’ I answer ‘obviously’, but I also hope that he has learned something from being my partner.”
As for the personal relationship between the two, which has sometimes created doubts, also due to Alonso’s fame as a devourer of teammates, Ocon assured that there was no problem between them.
“No. We have a good relationship , we are similar when it comes to working and obviously when we are on the track each one wants to prevail over the other”, he concluded.
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