Saturday, April 10, 2021

Alpine will not let Alonso/Ocon rivalry get out of hand

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Alonso’s return to F1 has teed up the thrilling prospect of a tricky battle between the Spaniard and his younger French teammate Ocon, who’s within the last season of a two-year contract on the outfit.

With Alonso having a historical past of being ruthless in coping with his teammates up to now, Alpine is effectively conscious that it must be aware of how their relationship develops.

Nevertheless, Alpine ambassador Alain Prost says that the Enstone squad is very aware of the dangers that might include Ocon being destabilised – so will work arduous to ensure there’s a good dynamic between its two males.

“If a driver is destabilised, that is not regular,” stated Prost in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro. “What’s regular, nevertheless, is {that a} psychological sport is about up. There may be all the time one driver who will get the higher hand.

“If that is one driver one time, after which the opposite one [another time], it is balanced and issues go effectively.

“When it is extra common, as Esteban skilled final yr with Daniel [Ricciardo], it is extra sophisticated. So it is crucial that the drivers work effectively collectively and that there aren’t any harmful games.

“It will be an extended season, and these COVID years are additionally sophisticated to handle. It isn’t a lot enjoyable, locked in bubbles with unbelievable restrictions.

“The dynamic and ambiance of a group are extraordinarily vital for efficiency, so it’s important to be very vigilant to make sure that there is no such thing as a degradation, at the beginning, among the many drivers.”

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Alonso has already proven a steely willpower to throw his all at his F1 return, though Alpine doesn’t seem like ready to combat for wins this yr.

Prost stated that whereas Alonso was a demanding character, it was as much as the group to reply in the proper method to that if it wished to maneuver ahead.

“A driver with such a character robotically brings one thing,” he stated. “Fernando may be very demanding and a perfectionist. He calls for loads. It is as much as us to take it on board.

“However he’s additionally conscious that it’s most likely not this yr that he’ll be capable of win races regularly. What is for certain is that even for a degree for tenth place, he’ll combat physique and soul to deliver it again.

“However we should not neglect that it’s all the time the pair of drivers who make a group progress. We anticipate loads from Esteban. He now is aware of the group. We now have modified issues for him, notably his observe engineer. Every little thing has been achieved to make him as comfy as doable.”

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