No Love Lost As Esteban Ocon Endorses Fernando Alonso’s Departure.

According to a FormulaNerds report, Fernando Alonso assisted Esteban Ocon to win his first Formula One race last year, but their relationship was contentious throughout the 2022 season, so many may wonder how issues arose between the two Alpine teammates.

Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon have established themselves as productive pair over their two years as teammates at Alpine.

With their combined 88 racing starts for the French team, they have one race win, one podium place, and 59-point finishes. Even more infamously, Alonso was a key factor in keeping Lewis Hamilton from overtaking Ocon so that he could win his first Formula One race. Why then has there been a deterioration in the two drivers’ relationship?

It is reasonable to assume that the two, now ex-Alpine teammates, did not always have the best of relationships. However, the fallout from the Brazilian GP was arguably the most important discussion point.

The two collided twice during the sprint race on Saturday. Alonso’s front wing sustained serious damage in the second incident. For the sprint, the duo qualified in P6 (Ocon) and P7 (Alonso), but started the Grand Prix in P17 and P18, respectively. Not a terrific outcome for the team.

The 41-year-old was unreserved in his criticism of his younger teammate after the session when he said: “There was a lot of too-close [fighting], unfortunately. It’s far from ideal when it’s your teammate, but it’s been a little like this [with him] all year long.”

Alonso also commented on other Ocon-related situations from the past. He mentioned Budapest and Jeddah as places where he experienced being squeezed “very close to the wall” on both occasions.

Furthermore, the Spaniard appeared to imply that Ocon would have a problem with other drivers when they said: “It happened to him with [Sergio] Perez, with Verstappen here [Sao Paulo] unlapping himself… so, it’s one more race.”

After learning of his teammate’s remarks, Ocon expressed his disappointment at Alonso’s criticism but continued to show respect for him. Ocon might respect Alonso, but it hasn’t prevented him from questioning the effort of his former teammate.

Ocon recently discussed his two-year association with the two-time champion in an interview with Ouest France, saying: “To be honest, I did 98% of the work and he did 2%. I was overworked. I did all the development work in the simulator, and I also did the marketing activities.”

Ocon then reacted positively to Alonso leaving the French team by saying: “it is good that he is going to Aston Martin and that we each go our way.”

Alonso will be replaced at Alpine in 2023 by fellow Frenchman Pierre Gasly. But, will there be less conflict amongst the new teammates even though the two have had a tense history? And now that Ocon has a new partner, will the team’s workload be distributed more fairly?