The Alpine team brought together two Normans within its pair of drivers at the start of last year. Having known each other since childhood, on karting circuits, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon were brought to work together in Formula 1, for the first time in their careers, having to put their past rivalry aside.
“For a team to be successful, there can be no unhealthy rivalry between the drivers”
Despite everything, from the third event in Australia, a restart at the end of the race led to a notable collision between the two Alpines. At that time, Pierre Gasly still had to take care of discovering his new team and adapting to this intrinsic rivalry, he who benefited from the status of natural leader at AlphaTauri against Yuki Tsunoda.
Esteban Ocon took the opportunity to gain the upper hand in the first part of the season, notably climbing to the 3rd step of the podium in Monaco, but once the adaptation phase was over, Pierre Gasly managed to reverse the trend, winning in turn a podium by finishing 3rd in the Dutch Grand Prix. In the end, the Rouennais completed the championship just ahead of his teammate, with 62 points against 58, giving him the opportunity to talk about their collaboration, while Alpine is preparing to unveil its new single-seaterthis Wednesday.
“I know that for a team to be successful, it must work in a healthy environment. There can be no unhealthy rivalry between the drivers. It’s something I’m aware of and really try to be careful about. I manage my relationship with Esteban and the way we interact. If Esteban doesn’t welcome me into his bubble, so much the better, if that’s his way of working. I know I’ll get more out of him by pushing the team in the direction I need him to push the team. That’s why I’m completely okay with the relationship we have. I think it works well. I need my space, he needs his space and everyone respects that. I think we both have a lot of respect for the drivers that we are. At the end of the day, I want to win, he wants to win. We must work together to achieve this.” (official Formula 1 website)
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To sum up
During his first year at Alpine, Pierre Gasly managed to beat his teammate and compatriot in the championship. The Rouennais talks about the way he manages his teamwork with Esteban Ocon and the rivalry that can result from it.
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