Martin Brundle believes that, whereas Fernando Alonso transferring to Aston Martin is partially all the way down to his ‘multi-year’ contract, his battles with Esteban Ocon is not going to have helped issues.
Alonso was sad on staff radio at the beginning of the weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, after Ocon moved throughout and blocked his team-mate at the beginning and hindered his progress.
“By no means in my life I noticed a defence like Esteban. By no means,” was the two-time World Champion’s evaluation of the transfer as his Alpine colleague moved proper in entrance of him, which he described after the race as being “fairly aggressive” on Ocon’s half.
The in-team combat at Alpine continued within the race as effectively, with their duel having an eventual damaging impact as they ran huge at Flip 2, permitting McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo to swoop previous the pair of them in a single go.
This isn’t the primary time this season there was a spicy battle between the 2 both, with a heated duel in Saudi Arabia additionally nearly seeing sparks fly as they fought tooth-and-nail for a number of laps.
Brundle mentioned that, whereas a number of elements could have been in play with Alonso’s shock determination to affix Aston Martin, Ocon’s stout defending and forceful attacking could have had a damaging affect on the staff, not least in maximising their potential ends in shedding time via their squabbles.
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) July 31, 2022
“It seems that Alpine couldn’t or wouldn’t provide Alonso a two-year deal, and his Aston Martin deal is formally described as multi-year,” Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports activities post-race column.
“He’s additionally been pretty underwhelmed at how punchy his team-mate Esteban Ocon has been in the direction of him in fight at Alpine reasonably than turning all their weapons on their rivals.
“Fernando is a drive of nature on and off the monitor and he’ll push the staff very laborious. He’s mellowed slightly as of late however there might simply be fireworks as he joins the Stroll household ‘agency’.”
Is Ocon an exception to the rule in Alonso’s profession?
It’s laborious to disagree with Brundle’s underlying level on Ocon, partially as a result of Alonso has been accustomed to having far more pliant team-mates all through his System 1 profession.
The one different true instance of a heated season-long battle in the identical storage will be traced again to *that* yr alongside Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, however since then, Alonso has typically been to date forward of his team-mates that he has by no means been fought in opposition to in the identical approach.
The likes of Nelson Piquet Jr, Felipe Massa, Giancarlo Fisichella, Kimi Raikkonen, Stoffel Vandoorne and even Jenson Button have been all largely tucked firmly inside Alonso’s pocket of their time collectively, so Ocon’s robustness is an unlikely outlier in his profession.
What Ocon has finished all through his profession, to his credit score, isn’t accepting enjoying second fiddle inside his staff – although the down facet comes with the aggression he has proven at occasions to show that time.
You solely should look again to his a number of scrapes with Sergio Perez via the 2017 season, which noticed a breakdown of their relationship on the time, for instance of Ocon’s unwillingness to again down.
There’s little question that the promise of a couple of further yr in System 1 and what’s more likely to be a helpful pay packet could have performed their half within the transfer…might Alonso have an ‘simpler’ time in opposition to Lance Stroll subsequent yr?
Perhaps, however it is going to be intriguing to search out out.