“I hope it will give us what we need, namely develop the carbecause at the moment we are still in the middle of the field and we have to progress the car further down the field”the Enstone team boss told Motorsport.com.
« For that you need drivers who are not only able to go fast and score points with the potential of the car, but also to take it to the next level »he assures. « This means that, from practice on Friday, they will be able to give their opinion to the team and to indicate the right direction to follow to improve the car. »
Helping to develop the single-seater will therefore be the first mission of the Rouennais, in the continuity of his role at AlphaTauri, according to Laurent Rossi. » He was the technical leader of AlphaTauri in many ways, I think. We want him to continue this work, that he develops the team and himself with us, and brings us to a new level. »
Rivalry with Esteban Ocon?
The tone is set and the pressure is now placed on the Frenchman’s shoulders, but these responsibilities bequeathed to the newcomer may not please Esteban Ocon, who has held Alpine since 2020 – when the team was still competing under the Renault name. The two new teammates are already not the best friends in the world, it has been common knowledge since their young years in motorsport. This leadership conferred on Pierre Gasly could further taint their cooperation and inflame their rivalry.
Especially since Alpine warned Ocon just days ago that he should think more about when to pass his new teammate than when it came to Fernando Alonso. The purpose of this warning is to avoid new tensions – and accidents – between the two drivers, which are costing their team dearly, both financially and in terms of championship points.
For his part, the ex-F1 driver Romain Grosjean hopes that the two Frenchmen will be able to put their old quarrels aside to make the tricolor team triumph. “I want them to work well together. This must not degenerate into an internal duel to find out who is in charge here after Fernando Alonso”said the one who runs today in IndyCar.
“It’s good that both are experienced and Grand Prix winners. They weren’t the best of friends, but they have to put that behind them. The management must remain attentive here”, he adds. If the atmosphere seems to be in good shape for the moment between the two pilots, it remains to be seen how this will evolve from the official start of the season, in two months, in Bahrain.