Esteban Ocon has said that it would be something special for two drivers from Normandy (Ocon and Pierre Gasly) to race in a brand from Normandy (Alpine) in Formula 1. The French driver will team up with Gasly, who is also French and has known Ocon from childhood.
The two drivers were very close when they were young before their career paths diverged. There have been reports of supposed friction between the two drivers, which was taken into consideration when signing them.
Talking about Gasly joining the team, Ocon talked about how special it would be to have two drivers from Normandy race in a brand from Normandy. When asked by Motorsport.com if they will be able to work together, Ocon replied in the affirmative, saying:
“Yeah, we will do. And to be honest, I think it's an awesome story to tell. I mean, we started go-karting together. That's pretty crazy. I have a lot of fantastic memories obviously with Pierre when we were kids. And you know, we lost ourselves a little bit. He was doing different championships; he went to Japan, I was staying in Europe, different teams, different times."
“I think it would be great to collaborate together. It's not only myself now from Normandy, we are all three from Normandy, me, Pierre and the brand. So if we can bring that team to the top and make Normandy win, that would be something special. I think there are some great things that we can create there. The minimum is for us to do a perfect job obviously for the team and work well together. But I'm sure everything will be good."
On a possible rivalry against his teammate, Ocon said:
“You always want to beat your teammate when you are in F1. It's the same rivalry that you have with any teammate because there's no French championship, there is no French/Spanish championship, so all good.”
Ocon (78) is eighth in the standings, while Gasly (23) is 13th ahead of the US GP this weekend.
"I will have the most experience; I know how the car works" - Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon also talked about the interactions he's had with Gasly till now as he emphasised the importance of working together. He said:
"We had a photoshoot together. We had a couple of interviews. We did spend a little bit of time chatting. Yeah, it'll be fun. It's not something that I really focus on too much. The important thing for me is to keep the job I’m doing, the development, the new floor that we brought in Singapore, I'm also the leader of that coming."
“Fernando (Alonso) also gives his thoughts; I give my thoughts, and it's the work together that we bring that makes the important thing. For sure, I will have the most experience; I know how the car works. But it is important for the team to get Pierre up to speed very quickly.”
Alpine will have a strong lineup in Ocon and Gasly for the next season. It will be interesting to see how they fare against the competition.