Four-time World Champion Alain Prost is still delivering his role as special ambassador at Alpine after the rebranding from the former Renault team. The French ex-F1-driver spoke about the matter of having an easy-going dynamic between both his team’s drivers and stated about the special work that everyone is focusing on to make Esteban Ocon feel stabilized with 2-times-F1-World-Champion Fernando Alonso as a teammate.
"If a driver is destabilized, that's not normal. What is normal, however, is that a psychological game is set up. There is always one driver who gets the upper hand.”
And if we want to know about the essence of a competition between two drivers and with their respective personalities in the same team, what’s better than asking Alain Prost?
"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, it's more complicated. So it's very important that the drivers work well together and that there are no dangerous games.” Prost said to in Le Figaro, a French newspaper.
However, we are not in the 90s anymore and Alain, altogether with Alpine's top bosses face strict regulations that they fear could wrap the team in a tense and monotonous environment thanks to the pandemic.
"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." He said.
One of the spotlights of the season being Fernando Alonso’s return to the category, the 4-time World Champion took the time to express about the Spaniard, now that he already had the chance to experience work together at this start of the season.
"A driver with such a personality automatically brings something, 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.”
The wise ex-driver knows, however, what it is that really makes a competitive team, and that is, a good and equal development from both sides of the garage in the team.
"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."
The matter is clear. Fernando Alonso is verified quality and talent, and that, altogether with what is expected to be Esteban Ocon's most solid performances in a year in which he must consolidate, Alpine aims only to improve what was a DNF and a P13 finish in Bahrain, with the team already with sights in Imola.