Speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, journalists Tom Clarkson and Fred Ferret delved into the intriguing dynamics between Ocon and Gasly, shedding light on the ongoing drama.
As the Formula 1 season neared its conclusion, the Drivers’ Championship continued to provide thrilling battles. Lewis Hamilton still harbored an outside chance of catching Sergio Perez, and the competition for fourth place was heating up. In addition to these battles, there were several teammates vying for bragging rights as they looked ahead to the 2024 season.
One particular rivalry stood out, with only 16 points separating Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, both 27 years old. Gasly had joined the team from AlphaTauri after Fernando Alonso’s move to Aston Martin. While it was initially expected that Oscar Piastri would fill the vacant seat, he ultimately ended up at McLaren alongside Lando Norris. The driver merry-go-round would not repeat this winter, with only one seat remaining to be filled.
Despite their shared history, the two French drivers found themselves locked in a fierce battle within the team. Journalist Tom Clarkson posed the question that had been on the minds of many Formula 1 enthusiasts: Is everything alright between Ocon and Gasly within the team?
In response, Ferret provided an insightful perspective: “I think it’s okay and it’s not okay. They are two tough drivers and they know each other since they were born. They started karting together since they were three, so they know every trick of the other, they know how to behave in the team because they looked at how they were behaving in the karting teams. The parents were friends, so it’s kind of difficult, and I’m pretty sure that for Esteban [Ocon], it must be tough to be a long-time part of the Alpine team and see a new guy coming in and being in front of him. He’s a real competitor, and he can’t accept that. He worked like hell when he was the teammate of Fernando [Alonso], and he tried to be at the level of Fernando, and he managed to do it. So now, I think Pierre is more than 12 or 15 points ahead with two races to go. It’s impossible that he can earn a miracle podium, but that will be tough.”
The tension between the two drivers was palpable, and Alpine was undoubtedly hoping for an improvement in their relationship. Throughout the season, Ocon and Gasly had clashed on more than one occasion. One memorable incident occurred during the Australian Grand Prix when they collided while both were on course to score points. Gasly was also visibly frustrated when he had to let his teammate pass him across the finish line in Japan.
As the season drew to a close, Formula 1 enthusiasts eagerly awaited developments in the relationship between Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly. Will the two French drivers find common ground and resolve their differences? Only time will tell as they prepare for the challenges and opportunities that the 2024 season will undoubtedly bring.