Pierre Gasly says he and Esteban Ocon have spent more time together over the Formula 1 winter break than they have done in over 10 years.
Former karting rivals Gasly and Ocon have been relatively distant from one another for some time, but with the pair becoming teammates, they appear to have put any past history behind them.
“It’s been good,” Gasly told select media outlets, including Total-Motorsport.com.
“We’ve spent more time together in the past two months than we’ve done over the 10 years. I’m pleased with how we’ve handled things.
“We both grew up as people; we’re more mature, aware of the responsibilities of representing a team like Alpine.
“With the Renault group behind us and I got no doubt that we’ll be able to work very closely and work well to push the team forward, and it’s going to benefit all of us.
“We’ve got to work well together, and then we’ll push the team forward to perform in the best way we can.”
No pressure in replacing Alonso
Although Gasly arrives at Alpine as a Grand Prix winner, he will have big shoes to fill following Fernando Alonso’s departure from the team.
Despite early comparisons of how he will fare versus the performances from Alonso, Gasly isn’t fazed by the pressure.
“I don’t look at Fernando at all,” said Gasly. “He’s had an incredible career, and I’m just looking at myself and my career.
“I want to be world champion one day, win races, bring Alpine to the top, and that’s all I’m focusing on.
“I think the team has learned a lot with Fernando, which is good, and we’ll carry whatever they’ve taken from him going forward.
“It’s up to us now with Esteban to work in the best way possible to keep that evolution and keep the progress we’ve been seeing over the last few years and closing that gap with the top three.”