Esteban Ocon is relieved that Fernando Alonso is leaving Alpine to Aston Martin as he claimed internal tensions within the team have become a burden.
Tensions between the former two teammates reached a flashpoint at the weekend of the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix where they both clashed during the Sprint Race costing the team points and compromising their grand prix on Sunday.
Double Formula 1 Champion, Alonso, was vocal about his bitterness, and in an interview with Ouest France, Esteban Ocon had his say as well; he said: “I was disappointed by what Fernando [Alonso] said in the press and internally.
“We didn’t really have a discussion, within the team, about all this. We had discussions with Laurent [Rossi – Alpine CEO]. Personally, I prefer when these subjects remain in private and that we explain ourselves man to man.
“He didn’t do it, it came out in the press. As I said, I will always keep the respect I have for him. I was disappointed, sure, but I respect what he did on the track, his titles and the motivation he has, at his age.
“I think it’s good that he’s leaving [to Aston Martin] and we’re doing our bit as we should,” the Frenchman declared, a statement revealing all the tensions behind the scene.
I did 98% of the work, Alonso only 2%
Asked about his schedule and work commitments, Ocon revealed it was hectic, and revealed that he had to do most of the work behind the scenes in terms of simulator, and promotional events.
“My schedule is very busy,” he said after Abu Dhabi. “I have been working with my coach for three days on my fitness program. I will then go on a series of trips to the factory and promotional events.
“The 2023 season is going to be long. I will give myself a few days off to spend the end-of-year holidays with my family and friends, before resuming my program,” Ocon added.
Pierre Gasly is joining compatriot Ocon at Alpine next year, and the latter is hoping his new teammate will help him carry some of the workload.
“I hope so!” he said when asked if Gasly would help more. “Honestly it was 98% on my back and 2% on his [Fernando Alonso] .
“I won’t say that I was overworked, but I was the one doing everything: the development of the simulator, the marketing trips and a very big part of the work.
“With Pierre, I think that we can share this work and that will help me keep my energy for the season. I’m sure that on this side, it will be much better,” the one-time grand prix winner concluded.