F1 | Alonso & Ocon will be a 'great combination' says Alpine's racing director
Alpine's racing director Davide Brivio, says that Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon will make a “great combination” as teammates at Alpine in 2021.
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has previously declared that Esteban Ocon will receive equal treatment as Fernando Alonso during the 2021 F1 season. Now, the team’s racing director Davide Brivio, has announced to the media that Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon will make a “great combination” as teammates at Alpine in 2021.
Fernando Alonso had a very successful pre-season training with a host of commentators announcing that the Spaniard looked like he had never been away. That in itself impressive but couple this with the fact that the former two-time F1 Drivers’ Champion fractured his jaw in a cycling accident last month and still performed how he did – made this feat exceptional. Not to mention, Alpine Racing Director Davide Brivio has stated that Alonso is in “great shape, first of all, from a physical point of view” and eager to return to racing.
“[Alonso has] strong motivation, he’s really pushing and I think it’s very positive for the team to have this type of driver that tends to stimulate everybody, push everybody to the maximum because he is [also] doing so.”
“The fact that he’s coming back in the most demanding class of motorsport, it shows also how strongly he is motivated and how is his desire to be back in action and to do great.”
Much has been written about Fernando Alonso making his return to the pinnacle of motorsport after two years away. However, people should discount the talent of Esteban Ocon at their peril, even more so after the Frenchman’s second placed finish last season.
Esteban Ocon said his first podium finish at the Sakhir Grand Prix was “awesome” and it was certainly well timed seeing how the Frenchman had faced a lot of criticism throughout the season. Not only this, but Ocon’s finish in Sakhir - just ahead of third place man Lance Stroll and 10.5 seconds behind Sergio Perez - proved to be the best result for Renault (now rebranded as Alpine) since they returned to F1 in 2016. Speaking of Fernando Alonso’s partnership with Esteban Ocon – Davide Brivio was reported on racefans.net as having this to say:
“I think it’s a very interesting combination,” said Brivio. “Both had a stop and both came back.”
“What we are seeing now is something very interesting because he is continuing this coming back period, so for sure he will take advantage of having stayed one year with the team, one year with the same car,” said Brivio. “So now it’s time where we can see, I think, his potential and what he can do.”
“Fernando will be important for Esteban in order to show also how he can work maybe in a different way with an experienced driver. And at the same time Esteban can help Fernando because he’s becoming more and more competitive and I think he will be very competitive this year.”
“So I like this combination and I’m really looking forward to see both in action. I think Fernando can give us good results and Esteban for sure will also follow.”
Esteban Ocon, when asked previously if Fernando Alonso would pose an even greater challenge than his former teammate Daniel Ricciardo, replied at the time:
"We will see. Fernando is a two-time world champion. It will be the first time that I work alongside a world champion so that's very interesting. I expect Fernando to be ready. He had a lot of testing last year and with his experience and all what he's done over the years, I think straight away from the first race he will be on it. So yeah, I expect him to be a tough opponent for sure."
Pre-season testing showed that Alpine’s drivers are in good form and raring to go and Davide Brivio views the pairing of youth and experience as a “great combination”. However, the same was widely said when Fernando Alonso partnered a young rookie at McLaren back in 2007 named Lewis Hamilton– and we all know how that ended.
Nevertheless, I cannot see history repeating itself and as such I believe each driver will support and complement the other. For this reason, do not be surprised if one of the drivers (or even both) find their way back to a podium in 2021.
On the other hand, Max Verstappen is likely to feature prominently on a podium in 2021 due to the fact: