Alpine won't let Alonso/Ocon rivalry get out of hand – Prost

Alpine says it will not allow the rivalry between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon to evolve into a destabilising force inside the Formula 1 team this year.

Alpine won't let Alonso/Ocon rivalry get out of hand – Prost

Alonso's return to F1 has teed up the thrilling prospect of a tough battle between the Spaniard and his young French teammate Ocon, who is in the final season of a two-year contract at the outfit.

With Alonso having a history of being ruthless in dealing with his teammates in the past, Alpine is well aware that it needs to be mindful of how their relationship develops. However, Alpine ambassador Alain Prost says that the Enstone squad is especially mindful of the risks that could come with Ocon being destabilised – so will work hard to make sure there is a good dynamic between its two men.

"If a driver is destabilised, that's not normal," said Prost in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro. "What is normal, however, is that a psychological game is set up. There is always one driver who gets the upper hand.

"If that's one driver one time, and then the other one [another time], it's balanced and things go well. When it's more regular, as Esteban experienced last year with Daniel [Ricciardo], it's more complicated. So it's very important that the drivers work well together and that there are no dangerous games.

"It's going to be a long season, and these COVID years are also complicated to manage. It's not much fun, locked in bubbles with incredible restrictions. The dynamic and atmosphere of a team are extremely important for performance, so you have to be very vigilant to ensure that there is no degradation, first and foremost, among the drivers."

Read Also:

Alonso has already shown a steely determination to throw his all at his F1 return, even though Alpine does not appear to be in a position to fight for wins this year.

Prost said that while Alonso was a demanding character, it was up to the team to respond in the right way to that if it wanted to move forward.

"A driver with such a personality automatically brings something," he said. "Fernando is very demanding and a perfectionist. He demands a lot. It's up to us to take it on board.

"But he is also aware that it is probably not this year that he will be able to win races on a regular basis. What is certain is that even for a point for tenth place, he will fight body and soul to bring it back.

"But we must not forget that it is always the pair of drivers who make a team progress. We expect a lot from Esteban. He now knows the team. We have changed things for him, notably his track engineer. Everything has been done to make him as comfortable as possible."

shares
comments

Related video

Formula 1's most chaotic start line incidents

Previous article

Formula 1's most chaotic start line incidents

Next article

Mercedes has to be "perfect" everywhere to beat Red Bull

Mercedes has to be "perfect" everywhere to beat Red Bull
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Esteban Ocon
Teams Alpine
Author Jonathan Noble
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021