Esteban Ocon reveals of illness during winter which affected his preparation as he and Pierre Gasly talk about their pairing at Alpine.

With the car launched earlier this week, Ocon also revealed about having a rough winter which affected his preparation for the 2023 season. The Frenchman had to put an extra effort to raise his fitness to be ready for an important year with Alpine.

Even though he has a deal in place for 2024, but it is key for Ocon to retain his consistency to keep is seat. He did well for most part in 2022 were he managed to beat Fernando Alonso with a mix of luck and pace, as is the case with every driver.

Ocon wishes to keep his aggressive style in 2023 which works for him. There were some fireworks towards the end of the relationship between him and Alonso due to them pushing each other, which will be interesting against Gasly.

The two haven’t been best of friends since karting. They have retained a professional relation which will be tested now being teammates. Even before the start of the year, many are waiting to see how their pairing unravels and most expect fireworks at some point.

For them, they admit to not being best of friends, but both feel that they are professional enough to maintain a good relation to push Alpine to the top step. So far they have had a good start, but only the track action will showcase if it can be well.

Illness over the winter:

Ocon: “I said before, I’ve been really ill during the winter, so I’ve had to put a lot of effort to try and come back to the best level possible in fitness, and I’ve done so. A bit of a challenging one, but happy with the result, and ready to start now. I feel stronger, I’m stronger than ever I would say because of the continuity with this team, getting a lot more years under my belt, knowing last year’s car very well – it’s been difficult to understand how things were working with this car – but now we have a second year with the same regulation in the end and the same team and the same people around me, it’s a good moment to keep stepping up.”

Relation with Gasly –

Ocon:We are never going to be best friends. But the important thing for us is to keep the flow going together, which creates debate and creates solutions with the team and that’s always been in motorsport forever. And the fact that the drivers work together to fight an issue and find a way to work, the teams then come up with some revolution, that’s what we need to try and get from our team and to be able to fight.

”Obviously, it’s very early days, but in a way my work doesn’t change. I’m still working with my group of people and with my group of engineers, but also, that’s been sent to Pierre’s side of the garage. When we are doing a simulator day, we share the information; we are one in the simulator not two. In the way that remains the same for me, it’s important to focus on myself and try and fix the little details that we think can be improved.”

Aggressive style –

Ocon:I am a racing driver, I am competing to beat everyone that’s how I’ve been racing my whole life and that’s how I’ve won title in the past and that’s how I beat Fernando, racing the way I want to race. So for me the important thing is to score the points together with Pierre that’s very important, but I want to fight anyone and I believe I can fight anyone and I am happy to race that way.”

Relation wit Ocon –

Gasly:It’s been good. I think it’s been really good. Obviously, I think we’ve spent more time together in the past two months than we’ve spent over the last eight years or 10 years, so it was very important and I’m pleased with the way that we’ve been handling things with Esteban. I think we are both grown up people now, more mature, aware of the responsibilities that we have, representing a team like Alpine with the Renault group behind us and I got no doubt that we’ll be able to work very closely and work really well to push the team forward. It’s going to benefit all of us. We’ve got to work well together and then we’ll push the team forward to perform in the best way we can.”

Here’s Alpine on hiring Zinedine Zidane plus Rac(H)er programme

Here’s 2023 Alpine F1 liveries

Here’s Alpine revealing its academy members

Here’s Alpine completing its shakedown

Here’s Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon’s first shoot together

Here’s Laurent Rossi on expectation from Pierre Gasly