Ocon says tensions with Gasly have disappeared amid Alpine F1 ties

Gasly has emerged as a possible candidate for Alpine if Red Bull are willing to strike a deal to sack him from AlphaTauri having already been confirmed for next season.

Inevitably, the prospect of them joining forces in a French team has intrigued fans and F1 insiders alike, as they are known to have a rivalry that dates back to their childhood days in karting.

It’s widely believed that they would never accept each other as teammates, but Ocon insists he’s open to the idea.

“It’s going well, we have respect for each other,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com about their current relationship. “I think that’s the most important thing.”

When asked if two French people could work on the same team, he replied “yes”.

Gasly, meanwhile, played down the suggestion that he could end up at Alpine in 2023.

“Well, I really don’t have anything to say now,” he said after qualifying at Spa. “You know, I’m focused on doing my best job this weekend.

“I have a contract and from what I know and everyone knows, you know that we at AlphaTauri have announced that we will drive for AlphaTauri next year.”

Pierre Gasly, Scuderia AlphaTauri, Nicholas Latifi, Williams Racing, Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: FIA Pool

Gasly and Ocon have known each other since their early days in karting.

“When he was very young, maybe seven or eight, my parents were friends with his parents,” Ocon explained in 2017 ahead of Gasly’s F1 debut

“One day I was driving go-karts and he was playing football there. So my dad said, ‘Why don’t you try Esteban’s go-kart?’ And after that he quit football! So we’ve basically known each other since the beginning of my career.”

Later, as their careers progressed in parallel, they fell out, with Gasly implying that this happened because he started beating Ocon.

Ocon hinted earlier in the Spa weekend that he would happily accept any driver as a teammate in 2023, although he clarified that racing alongside friend Mick Schumacher is his personal preference.

“I mean, in the end, it doesn’t matter who’s next to me,” he said.

“I will keep the work I am doing with my team now and understand the car and the progress we have made since I joined the team in 2020. It was enormous.

“It’s not my decision. But yes, I would love to work with Mick. He’s a good friend of mine. So again, the team, it’s up to them to decide, not me. But yeah, if it ends like that, it’s going to be a great ride for sure.”

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