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Szafnauer hopes Ocon/Gasly friendship will “rekindle”

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 19: Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia AlphaTauri and Esteban Ocon of France and Alpine F1 Team talk in the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 19, 2021 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Sebastien Nogier - Pool/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer is hopeful that the friendship between future teammates Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly “rekindle”.

It was announced last weekend that Gasly will join Alpine for the 2023 season and race alongside Ocon. The two were childhood friends, but their relationship worsened as they progressed through the junior series ladder.

Nevertheless, Szafnauer hopes that the relationship between the drivers will improve.

“We made an informed decision, and that means talking to the entire team, including Esteban beforehand, to make sure that if we did make a decision, it’s a team sport and we have to be able to work together and optimize,” he said.

“Esteban was very supportive, Pierre as well. They’re professionals and they have no issue working together, and hopefully, the friendship will rekindle.

“They were friends at one point, but from a professional perspective, they’re both very happy to work with each other.”

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