Alonso’s return to F1 has teed up the exhilarating prospect of a tough battle between the Spaniard and his youthful French teammate Ocon, who is in the final period of a two-year contract at the outfit.
With Alonso with a history of being ruthless in dealing with his teammates in the past, Alpine is well aware that it has to be aware of how the relationship develops. However, Alpine ambassador Alain Prost claims that the Enstone team is especially conscious of the dangers that could include Ocon being destabilised — thus will work hard to be sure there is a fantastic dynamic between its two men.
“If a driver is destabilised, that’s not normal,” said Prost in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro. “What is normal, however, is that a psychological game is set up. There is always one driver who gets the upper hand.
“If that is one driver one time, then the other one [another time], it is balanced and matters go well. When it is more routine, as Esteban experienced last year with Daniel [Ricciardo], it’s more complicated. So it is crucial that the drivers work well together and that there are no dangerous games.
“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.”
Alonso has shown a steely determination to throw his at his F1 reunite, even though Alpine does not seem to be in a position to fight for wins this season.
Prost said that while Alonso was a character that was demanding, it had been up to the group to react in the ideal method to that if it wanted to proceed.
“A driver with such a personality automatically brings something,” he explained. “Fernando is very demanding and a perfectionist. He demands a lot. It’s up to us to take it on board.
“But he’s also aware it is most likely not this year that he is going to have the ability to win races on a regular basis. What is certain is that even for a point for tenth position, he’ll fight body and soul to bring it backagain.
“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.”