Pierre Gasly says that media talk of difficulties between himself and current team-mate Esteban Ocon makes him laugh.
Gasly will make his Formula 1 debut for Alpine next year having spent the last several seasons competing under the Red Bull umbrella, primarily for AlphaTauri.
He will form an all-French line-up with Ocon, who enters his fourth year with Alpine in 2023.
Gasly and Ocon have known each other for much of their career and were friends during their karting days.
However, it is widely reported that the duo fell out of friendship as they became older.
Gasly says that the media is attempting to keep the spotlight on that side of the story ahead of their first season together next year.
“I know they like to sell this story,” Gasly told Channel 4. “For me, it’s no secret that we’ve had our ups and downs in our relationship but he’s the guy I’ve known the longest, for 20 years.
“We grew up together and I think we’ve cleared a lot of dust since we arrived in F1. Things are going well now and I don’t see any reason why they should not go well now.
“At the end of the day, it kind of makes me laugh because the media is really focusing on this story and trying to push it.
“Just look down the pit lane, you have rivalries inside every team. The most important thing is to have a healthy one, as long as it doesn’t become toxic.
“It’s not new to anyone that you have a rivalry inside a team, but you’ve both got to be mature enough and smart enough to push the team forward.
“When it comes to the track everyone tries their best but have got to stay respectful. I see all the articles and people would like to push on that story, but I’m not really worried for that.”
Gasly targeting podiums with Alpine in 2023
Alpine ended the 2022 campaign fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, beating McLaren to the position following a season-long battle.
The team has set its sights on climbing higher in the pecking order, with a grid-wide budget cap now in place to aid its goal.
Gasly says that he hopes to achieve podiums with the Enstone-based squad in 2023, but expects a minimum of topping the midfield fight once more.
“They’ve been the fourth strongest team on the grid this season,” he said. “The next target is the top three, the big three ahead of us.
“I truly believe its possible. They’ve made huge progress over the last couple of years.
“They definitely have some speed and if they make another step on the car for next season I believe we could definitely be strong challengers for the top five and top three.”
Gasly made his on-track debut for Alpine at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi last month.
Leave a Reply