F1’s French rivalry: Gasly opens up about tension with Ocon

Pierre Gasly has candidly revealed the nature of his relationship with teammate Esteban Ocon, confirming that despite being teammates at Alpine, they share “no relationship” on a personal level. This lack of camaraderie between the two has been a subject of speculation throughout their careers, tracing back to their early days in Normandy and karting but reaching its pinnacle as they were paired together for 2023.

Speaking to Auto Motor und Sport, Gasly, who transitioned to Alpine from the Red Bull family this year, clarified that their shared nationality does not influence their relationship. “Nationality has nothing to do with it,” Gasly said. “It is the story of our lives that stands between us. But the collaboration still works well because we both want to win. This is only possible if you work as a team and within the team.”

However, Gasly was candid about the absence of a personal bond with Ocon. “On a personal level there is no relationship between us,” he confirmed. “But I don’t need that either. What I need is an Esteban who will work as hard as possible for the team. That’s enough for me.”

Gasly’s focus remains on competitive performance rather than internal rivalry. “I want to beat everyone,” he stated. “My focus is not on him. If I beat everyone, I’ll beat him too. In order to do that, I have to concentrate fully on myself and not on this duel.”

The 2023 season proved challenging for Alpine, marked by ownership and management turmoil and culminating in a mere sixth-place finish in the constructors’ championship. Gasly highlighted the team’s deficiencies, “We lack power, especially when it comes to electrical energy. But also in terms of aerodynamic development, we missed our goals. We did some good upgrades, but it was nothing compared to McLaren, for example. Aston Martin got off to a better start to the season than us but we got closer in some races which shows that we improved. But not as much as we would have liked.”

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