(GMM) Even after a year as Formula 1 teammates, Pierre Gasly admits he and Esteban Ocon still do not like each other.
Rumors the 27-year-old French pair do not get along with one another have followed their entire careers, dating all the way back to their childhoods around Normandy and their formative days in karts.
“Nationality has nothing to do with it,” Gasly, who arrived at Alpine from the Red Bull family this year, told Auto Motor und Sport.
“It is the story of our lives that stands between us. But the collaboration still works well because we both want to win. This is only possible if you work as a team and within the team.”
He admits, however, that he and Ocon still do not like each other.
“On a personal level there is no relationship between us,” Gasly confirmed. “But I don’t need that either.
“What I need is an Esteban who will work as hard as possible for the team. That’s enough for me.”
He therefore insists that he’s not obsessed with always being ahead of Ocon.
“I want to beat everyone,” said Gasly, who finished one place and four points ahead of Ocon in the 2023 drivers’ standings. “My focus is not on him.
“If I beat everyone, I’ll beat him too. In order to do that, I have to concentrate fully on myself and not on this duel.”
It was a difficult year for Alpine amid ownership and management turmoil, with the Renault-linked team slipping to sixth in the constructors’ championship.
“We lack power, especially when it comes to electrical energy,” Gasly admits. “But also in terms of aerodynamic development, we missed our goals.
“We did some good upgrades, but it was nothing compared to McLaren, for example. Aston Martin got off to a better start to the season than us but we got closer in some races which shows that we improved. But not as much as we would have liked.”