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HomeSports"You can not trust him". The Formula 1 driver that even...

“You can not trust him”. The Formula 1 driver that even Alonso fears

Date: July 16, 2024 Time: 20:24:08

Formula 1 is not only the most technically complex sport, but also a battle of personalities. Here character is everything: to a certain extent, the public can forgive the driver even the most lackadaisical and unpleasant performances, if he is charismatic and puts his own “self” before racing, ethics, criticism and everything else.

But behind all this lies the main problem: this perception is difficult to transfer to the pilot, who, due to insurmountable circumstances, cannot compete for the title and often spends his entire career in this modality. This default view of the audience suggests that there is no life outside of the best teams. Or it is minimal, insignificant and without interest. The synchronization of the pilot’s personality with his results leaves no chance to look, for example, at a hopeless outsider a little deeper than is usual in the media and official comments.

So, an ordinary guy from a poor family, Esteban Ocon, is destined for a lifetime role as an average gray Formula 1 driver. Despite the fact that this is far from his level.

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In the movies, these success stories are often depicted in a very clichéd way. The viewer treats them with disdain, because the pathos and level of the drama sometimes exceed all permissible norms: until recently, the hero was a nobody, and now the whole world is at his feet, he had to overcome unimaginable difficulties. .. Many I have heard the incredible story of Esteban Okon about his difficult childhood. French talent received unprecedented support from poor parents: the Okon family sold the house and a small car repair shop, bought a van with this money, settled in it and, as part of four people, traveled around Europe alone. for Esteban’s performances.

I mean, for a Frenchman, all this cinematography took place in real life! And do not forget that we are talking about Formula 1, in which the phrase “poor driver” is considered a sentence, and already at the level of the junior series. A completely Hollywood story for inexplicable reasons has passed through the masses, despite the fact that the attitude towards drivers for hire in F-1 is always predominantly negative. And here is such a superman! That he has been in the Queen of Motorsport for almost ten years, he does not pay for his participation and he does not have large sponsors behind him.

And here we come to the problem of perception: since Okon has not yet had a chance to drive a really fast car, he quickly disappeared in the eyes of the fans and began to be just “one of them.” Yes, Formula 1 is cruel. Even an incredibly moving and unusual path to the top compared to the rest and serious successes in the junior series make you a gray mouse if you don’t fight for at least podiums on a regular basis.

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Unforgivable character for the middle peasant.

It would seem that there is a catch: ruling out sentimentality, we get the story of a runner who has just achieved what he was going to achieve with so much pain. A reputation as a professional, years of experience in Formula 1, a decent salary, what else do you need to be happy? But even here not everything is so simple. In some unthinkable way, Esteban Ocon not only failed to impress fans with his difficult rise. He became a negative character for them, a kind of villain. Of course, adjusted to the scale of personality and the level of the teams in which the Frenchman plays, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are like the moon for him. And it would be nice if such an assessment had solid grounds, but they don’t exist in nature! Just imagine: the only thing that is attributed to the French with a minus sign is harsh clashes with partners. Somewhere saddened Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez, who in different years were also scolded and scolded, but for lack of exactly the same.

There was also a famous story with Pierre Gasly, when two Frenchmen who had known each other for more than 20 years had not spoken for a long time, but there was a deeply personal background. According to the rumors in the paddock, as well as Ralf Schumacher’s words on the air of SkySportsF1, Pierre and Esteban simply did not share the girl. Also, Okon was the wronged party, so it’s pretty strange to score these takedowns in the negative for Esteban. But they were still etched into the overall portrait of the Frenchman, as there are virtually no situations in Formula 1 where two working drivers are so in conflict with each other for reasons unrelated to the race.

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If you dig deeper, Esteban Ocon is one of the few drivers outside of the top teams who behaves like a top team driver on the track. He’s always ready to go head-to-head in the fight, even if it’s essentially from a tournament standpoint, he fights for nothing. For him there are no authorities, he can always answer harshly on the radio or violate the team’s order if it seems illogical to him. Isn’t that what millions of fans of the Queen of Motorsport crave? As a result, once a year in the press there are sudden attacks on the French broker, which cannot be supported by any arguments.

At the start of the 2021 season, grand champion Mika Hakkinen said that “even though he doesn’t know Esteban, I wouldn’t trust him.” Paul di Resta states that “it is very difficult to get along with Okon because Fernando Alonso complains about him all the time” (obvious Formula 1 angel), and also allegedly the fact that Esteban did not get along in Force India with Sergio Pérez, although the Mexican has never been the personification of an impeccable reputation in F-1 either. Martin Brundle and former Williams reservist Jack Aitken went even further: they said that, among other things, because of Esteban Okon and his bad temper, Alonso decided to leave Alpin. And no evidence of this was presented, except for aggressive, but not one-sided situations in the races between the drivers of the French team.

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Sounds incredible: in a relatively even fight between Alonso and Ocon, with mutual success in the form of victory and podium finishes, Fernando ran away in horror from his partner, if he didn’t ruin his life with his existence. Does it sound authentic? Hardly. Feel the energy of an ordinary French driver: in his context, experts began to defend Fernando Alonso, who, according to them, has been a threat to the teams he plays for throughout his entire career. .

By the way, what did the unfortunate and oppressed Alonso de Ocon himself think?

Ocon and Alonso in 2022

Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

From love to hate

It was in this unexpected way that the relationship between the two-time world champion and his young student developed. Fernando and Esteban were partners for two years, in the first of which we observed a complete idyll: at the beginning of the 2021 season, the Spaniard lost a little with his partner and said that he needed to learn from Okon to get ahead. to the desired level. The Frenchman himself perfectly played the role of a young student, showering Fernando with praise and unconditional respect. The season went smoothly, Esteban taking a famous victory in Hungary, Alonso taking the podium for the first time in many years, both finishing a close gap in the individual standings. Complete silence and silence. And who would have thought what awaits the Alpin riders next season.

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From a tournament point of view, 2022 was quite a good year for the team: the French finished fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, leaving all direct competitors behind. But other things raged in the media throughout the season: for example, the scandal with the contract of reservist Oscar Piastri and the conflict between two Alpin fighter pilots.

It was slow at first, as the misunderstandings between Alonso and Ocon in the race died down by themselves. In June 2022, Esteban said that he would be happy if Alonso stayed. Therefore, it seemed that everything that happens on the track stays there. But at the end of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix happened, the triumph of the confrontation between teams and a turning point in the relationship between Esteban and Fernando.

The sprint race in Sao Paulo was marked by two incidents between Okon and Alonso: first, the Frenchman caught Fernando very dangerously in one of the corners, and then Fernando broke his front wing while trying to overtake his teammate on a wide straight, for which he later received a well-deserved fine. After that, the Alpin riders’ comments to each other started to rain down on us like hail.

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Of course, it was Alonso who turned them on: on the stewards’ mat, Fernando pleaded guilty to contact with a teammate in the sprint, but for some reason he urged Esteban Okon in the press. He reminded her of the dangerous fight on the stage of Jeddah(!), although immediately afterwards he declared that his battle was fair. It got to the point that Fernando announced to the whole world: he’s glad he won’t be Ocon’s partner next season! The Frenchman was much more modest in his comments, surprised by the double champion’s sudden outpouring of negativity in his speech and still emphasizing unconditional respect for the legend.

But Alonso was unstoppable. Let’s go back to 2021 and remember Okon’s victory in Hungary. Photos of Fernado picking up a new race winner were broadcast around the world and proved that the mentoring model of the relationship between the two drivers is more effective than ever. The Spaniard was sincerely happy for his partner, he spared no sincere congratulations and praise.

Alonso ready to congratulate Okon for winning the Hungarian Grand Prix

Photo: Florion Goga – Pool/Getty Images

Do you know how he called this victory “Alpin” then? “Accident”. In terms of form, Alonso is absolutely right, but there is a catch – the world saw this statement a month after the termination of cooperation with the French team, a year and a half after the victory! The non-toxic Spaniard parted ways with his employer so peacefully that he continued to prod him even with isolated triumphs. And, of course, he didn’t miss the opportunity to choose the most offensive term for his partner’s success. Although a year ago he literally carried the owner of this accident in his arms.

It is likely that Esteban, precisely in his character, is closer to those great personalities who can afford to go over others for the sake of results. But in the end, it seemed that Fernando Alonso was the main victim of this whole story. Although he himself, of course, also made him suffer.

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What about the conclusions?

Esteban Ocon is certainly not what they are trying to make him out to be. He should not take the word of Martin Brundle and other experts, because his words are not backed by anything. Even the aforementioned Ralf Schumacher gave some kind of texture to the Gasley-Okon relationship thing, and everything else was superficial reasoning about the fact that Esteban had problems with all his partners, which means he’s not a person. easy. . And that is. And as proof of the vicissitudes of such an approach, one simple thing can be cited. Do you remember the comments in the press after Pierre Gasly was announced as a fighter pilot to be paired with his sworn friend Okon? Everyone reveled in the inevitable (as they said) open crash to come, to the point that the parents of both drivers would supposedly be bred for different Grands Prix so they wouldn’t interbreed.

What do we end up with? Of course, not much time has passed, but here it is important to feel the contrast with what we were promised: instead of crushing the discord, both cyclists express respect to each other, exchange jokes in videos for the Alpin channel and show off with their ensemble. appearance that there is no misunderstanding and closure No.

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After leaving Mercedes in 2020, Esteban Ocon finally lost media contact with the top teams. Albon is being paired at Ferrari, Hulkenberg and Ricciardo at Red Bull, and Ocon has nothing left. Nothing but decent results and a predatory instinct that infuriated even a mastodon like Alonso. So to watch the Frenchman in the car, fighting for the championship, would be very interesting. Too bad this will never happen.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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