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Monday, April 12, 2021

Alpine will not let Alonso and Ocon F1 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 team-mate 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 team-mates up to now, Alpine is properly conscious that it must be aware of how their relationship develops.

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

“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 properly. When it is extra common, as Esteban skilled final 12 months with Daniel, it is extra difficult. So it is crucial that the drivers work properly collectively and that there are not any harmful video games.

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“It is going to be an extended season, and these COVID years are additionally difficult to handle. It is not a lot enjoyable, locked in bubbles with unbelievable restrictions.

“The dynamic and ambiance of a staff are extraordinarily vital for efficiency, so it’s important to be very vigilant to make sure that there isn’t any degradation, in the beginning, among the many drivers.”

Gerhard Berger, chairman of ITR, Alain Prost, Alpine F1 Group, and Jean Todt, President, FIA, on the grid

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alonso has already proven a steely willpower to throw his all at his F1 return, though Alpine doesn’t seem like able to struggle for wins this 12 months.

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Prost stated that whereas Alonso was a demanding character, it was as much as the staff to reply in the appropriate solution to that if it wished to maneuver ahead.

“A driver with such a persona mechanically brings one thing,” he stated. “Fernando could be very demanding and a perfectionist. He calls for rather a lot. It is as much as us to take it on board.

“However he’s additionally conscious that it’s most likely not this 12 months that he’ll be capable to win races frequently. What is definite is that even for some extent for tenth place, he’ll struggle physique and soul to convey it again.

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

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