Esteban Ocon has smiled at claims he will give F1 legend Fernando Alonso a run for his money at Alpine this year.
Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin this week predicted that incumbent Ocon, 24, “will better understand the team and the car” once Alonso ends his two-year Formula 1 sabbatical in March.
“We will see, we will see,” Ocon smiled to Spanish publications when told about Sirotkin’s remarks.
“It’s true that I finished at a better level than I started and that is where I want to start the season now – strong. I know what I need, what I expect and I will be much more prepared, that is clear,” he added.
“Fernando will be a great rival and I am going to give it my all, but in the end we work together for the team to get as many points as possible.”
Ocon is therefore not as confident as Sirotkin is that he will lead the team at least early in 2021 while Alonso gets up to speed.
“Fernando is perfectly capable of starting completely ready,” he said. “He has done many tests that will help him to be prepared, but he also has a lot of experience even if he has been away for two years.
“He has always been driving and always keeping fit – he still seems to be 20 years old, so he will be ready from the first outing,” predicted Ocon.