Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Silverstone, 2021

“Tough opponent” Alonso will be ready for his return – Ocon

2021 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Esteban Ocon has no doubt new team mate Fernando Alonso will be ready for the season-opener in Bahrain later this month despite his two year absence from F1 recent and cycling accident.

Alonso was unable to participate in Alpine’s recent launch and filming day for its new A521 following his cycling crash which left him with a fractured jaw.

“With his experience and all that he’s done over the years, I think straight away from the first race, he will be on it,” Ocon predicted. “So I expect him to be a tough opponent for sure.”

Alonso tested with Renault several times late last year in preparation for his return to F1 this season. He will be Ocon’s most experienced team mate to date.

“Fernando is a two-time world champion, so it would be the first time that I work alongside a world champion,” Ocon said. “So that’s very interesting. I expect Fernando to be ready.”

Ocon was out-scored by previous team mate Daniel Ricciardo last year but showed strong form towards the end of the season, scoring his first podium at the Sakhir Grand Prix. Their relationship on and off-track stayed positive and Ocon is positive that he will be able to repeat this with Alonso.

“I always had a great relationship with Fernando. Even when we are racing back together in 2017 and 2018. I always have so much respect for what Fernando has done over the years.

“Also racing with him. I have always been very close, but very fair and very enjoyable. I’m definitely looking forward to teaming up with him properly in an event. So far it’s been a great collaboration and I expect it to be the same for the rest of the year.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 F1 season

Browse all 2021 F1 season articles

Author information

Josh Holland
USA-based Josh joined the RaceFans team in 2018. Josh helps produce our Formula 1 race weekend coverage, assists with our social media activities and...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2021 F1 season articles, F1 newsTags , , , , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 12 comments on ““Tough opponent” Alonso will be ready for his return – Ocon”

    1. It depends how much is left of Alsonso in his prime years. If he’s as fast as in his last year, Ocon will be trailing him a couple of tenths every qualifying and more so in races. Or it might be like when Schumacher came back – a shadow of his former glory. We will see, but Ocon will have his hands full in beating Alonso and if he fails miserably, his career might be in question or at best he will be left as just another midfielder.

      1. @osvaldas31 His career could indeed end up being in question or at risk should he underperform against a driver who hasn’t driven in a single F1 race for two seasons, depending on Gasly’s possible availability and how well the Renault academy drivers do in F2.

    2. I predict Ocon will get Vandoorned out of f1 by Alonso, which is a shame as both Vandoorne and Ocon are amazingly fast drivers, that in the right team and teammate pairing could be race winners. But that can be said of any driver on the grid, so results are needed, especially against your teammate. This is a make or break season for Ocon in F1, though i think he was broke already last season after the shellacing Ricciardo gave him.

      1. “Vandoorned” hahaha

      2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        6th March 2021, 21:09

        My prediction also. I don’t think she or time out of the sport will stop the relentless talent of Fernando. With Schumacher I felt his comeback would be difficult, with Fernando I know he will be overachieving in that Renault from the first session. And that’s the biggest compliment I can give to Fernando’s ability. Arguably the greatest talent ever for me. Shame he fell on his sword a few too many times.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          6th March 2021, 21:09


          1. 🙄 Another repost to correct misspelling…

            Ever heard of proofreading? Takes less time than having to repost!


    3. As to the above comments, I’m not convinced Ocon is at some level of risk of his career ending if he doesn’t show well against FA, but I do think FA will be on it and in full song right away, but that both drivers will be limited by the car. I think as is so often the case, Ocon can either be intimidated (not saying he is) or he can take this as a golden opportunity to shine against an F1 icon. Personally I don’t think all that highly of Ocon relative to many other drivers but obviously he has done enough to be where he is, and to have been under TW’s wing.

    4. Trulli, Fisichella, Piquet Jr, Massa, Vandoorne…now Ocon?

      1. At least Massa still had a respectable rest of his career, unlike the majority of the others mentioned.

        It blows my mind how long Jarno Trulli managed to stay in F1. Never really delivered. Same with Fisi, who I rate more highly, they never quite managed to step up to the mark when it was required.

    5. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      6th March 2021, 17:56

      I’m honestly not sure how one sided this will be. I feel alonso probably will be better, but i somehow doubt it will be by much. Alonso IMO is well past his peak. He made quite a few mistakes over his seasons at Mclaren most recently. His pace seems good, but he just doesn’t seem as consistent as he used to be. Ocon almost instantly looked more or less on par with Perez in both seasons, and many seem to forget that. If people are considering Perez as a strong team mate for Verstappen, Ocon could be at that same level and he will be against a driver that hasn’t been in F1 for some years.

      I think this will be a pretty close battle myself and i will be surprised if alonso is far better

    6. It’s funny, when Alonso comes back he doesn’t get any benefit of time – Ocon says he will be on it straight away. However, when Ocon comes back from a one year break he gives himself a whole season to get up to speed as a excuse for his underperformance. Double standards much.

    Comments are closed.