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Alonso at "top level" ahead of F1 return

Alonso at "top level" ahead of F1 return

F1 News

Alonso at "top level" ahead of F1 return

Alonso at "top level" ahead of F1 return

Esteban Ocon has said he believes Fernando Alonso is capable of performing at the "top level" upon his Formula 1 return with Alpine.

Alonso will return to F1 this season after a two-year absence. During his time away from the paddock, Alonso has raced in a variety of championships as well as making one-off appearances in the Indianapolis 500, Dakar Rally and 24 Hours of Daytona.

Ocon, entering his second season with the Enstone-based team as it transitions from Renault to Alpine, is confident he can push Alonso all the way.

When it was put to Ocon that, should he beat Alonso, it may be suggested the Spaniard is past his best but, should Alonso come out on top, the Frenchman would have been beaten by a 39-year-old, Ocon laughed: "Is that how you see it? What do you want me to reply to that?

"What I want to do is the best possible in the car. I know what my level is and I know what I need to improve and what I need to work on, I know how i finished last season as well, which was the level I want to perform on for this year.

"What we've seen with Fernando in Abu Dhabi is that he doesn't look like a 39-year-old, and he doesn't drive like a 39-year-old, so he will be ready and he will be performing at the top level.

"I've no doubt he will be strong, but I will do my best against him and push him all the way."

Despite Alonso having two world titles to his name, both scored with Renault in 2005 and 2006, Ocon said he is confident the team will listen to both drivers and not solely Alonso.

He added: "For sure. It is clear inside the team that it's not because Fernando has so much experience, a great champion, but the team is going to listen to me as well.

"I have the experience of the car from last year. We know the way we have to develop it, and at the moment, Fernando is saying the same things. He brings his opinion, and it's not too dissimilar.

"The team is trusting me for the feedback I'm giving, what we want to achieve basically.

"It's not because Fernando is coming that the development is going to be all on his side, not at all, that's not the policy of the team."

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