Sergio Perez dig made in Fernando Alonso comparison by F1 teammate Esteban Ocon

F1 preview: A lap of the Miami Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso may hold something of a reputation for being difficult to work with, but Esteban Ocon is yet to see that side of the Spaniard. In fact, he’s compared the two and said there’s at least one aspect of his current relationship he enjoys a lot more than he did racing alongside Sergio Perez.

Alonso joined the Alpine roster ahead of the 2021 campaign after a three-year break from Formula 1. It’s understandable Ocon might have felt some apprehension over his signing at the time, revealing he was warned about the two-time world champion by others in the paddock.

The reality has been a lot smoother, however, and Ocon has aimed a dig at his former comrade for not knowing ‘when to stop’. Despite being cautioned about Alonso’s habits—such as playing “mind games” with his team-mates—Ocon came to realise the two “have a lot in common.”

“We both love racing more than anyone else and he is proving it by what he does,” said the 25-year-old during a recent appearance on Beyond the Grid. “He’s won two titles, won the most prestigious races in the world, is coming back to F1 and is still as fast as he was. Everything he does is about racing and that goes for me too. And you can laugh with him too, he’s a funny guy.”

“Very different,” replied Ocon when asked how his dynamic with Alonso compares to that of Perez, whom he suggests would sometimes push their contests too far. “With Checo it was close, but we didn’t complete the races. Then it was just too close. With Alonso we know how far we can push it.”

Ocon has finished ahead of Alonso in all five races so far this season and celebrated an impressive eighth-place finish at the Miami Grand Prix despite starting last on the grid. The Normandy native sits ninth in the drivers’ standings, while Alonso is slumped in 16th after securing just two points.


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There’s harmony between the pair despite working together for only 18 months, too. Or at least compared to Ocon’s former Force India partner Perez, who has since taken his competitive edge to Red Bull.

Alonso’s sole top-10 finish of the year to date came at the Bahrain Grand Prix in the opening week. He’ll hope to improve that record in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, however, and will look to do so with Ocon pushing him on to better things in Barcelona.

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