Formula 1 Alpine duel – Ocon: Complete trust in Alonso

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc duel at the top in Jeddah on Sunday for victory, but the toughest duel in the floodlight spectacle on the Red Sea coast was fought by two teammates, Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.
Already in the early phase of the Saudi Arabian GP, ​​the two pink racers skirmish for laps: veteran Alonso attacks his 15-year-younger stable mate with DRS on start-finish, but Ocon closes the door on the inside. While Alonso can only prevent a crash with difficulty, Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer plays the cool in the TV interview at the command post: “We let them race at the beginning, but that will settle down now, you’ll see.”

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After his pilots only partially adhere to it and the duo comes under pressure from behind from Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas, the team intervenes and instructs Ocon to hold his position – at this point Alonso has already pushed past at the French. Although Szafnauer shakes his head briefly, he says after the race: “That was nice racing and exactly what the fans want to see. We were able to give them a great show today.”

Alpine stars Alonso and Ocon make the team manager’s pulse beat faster with their duel.

Ocon, who finally finished a strong sixth, is also impressed by the internal duel: “The team decided before the race that we could fight as long as it was fair – that’s exactly what we did. It was a lot of fun. I like driving against Fernando because I know how far I can go with him and I have a lot of faith in him. It’s a privilege to race against such a legend.”

Alonso himself was annoyed after the race, but that was only due to his technical retirement on lap 36 and not the duel with Ocon: “It was very intense, but also good. We already had a nice fight in Bahrain,” explains the Spaniard , who apparently still enjoys Formula 1 with its new generation of cars even at the age of 40.

Teammate Ocon even thinks: “With these cars it’s like a go-kart race because you can follow the car in front so closely and who in turn can hardly get out of the DRS window. It’s like a new way of racing, but it does a lot Fun, because now attack is the best form of defence.”

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The Frenchman proved that in the final laps in his duel for sixth place with Lando Norris. Ocon can effortlessly counter an overtaking maneuver by the Brit in the McLaren. “That’s the annoying thing: You can pass now, but there’s a good chance that the opponent will overtake you right away,” Norris is therefore not a fan of the new ground effect cars, at least on Sunday – unlike Ocon and the spectators.

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