Ocon: Gasly as my teammate for 2023? I want Schumacher – Crash

Esteban Ocon has reaffirmed his preference of having Mick Schumacher as his F1 teammate at Alpine for 2023 over fellow Frenchman Pierre Gasly.
The identity of Ocon’s Alpine teammate in the 2023 driver line-up is up in the air, with a decision from the Contract Recognition Board (CRB) due soon to decide what happens with Oscar Piastri.
Gasly has been heavily linked with Alpine in the past week, while Schumacher – who currently drives for Haas – is rumoured to be leaving the Ferrari Driver Academy, putting him on the driver market as the American outift would have free choice over who drives alongside Kevin Magnussen in 2023.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s F1 Dutch Grand Prix, Ocon made it clear that he wants Schumacher in the second Alpine car.
“Mick? He’s a good friend of mine, first of all so if I can help on that then that’s no problem,” Ocon said. “I think he has shown talents in junior categories as well, he’s been very fast, sometimes in F1, it’s not easy to perform with a car that’s a bit on the back foot. I’ve had that when I started in F1. 
“He’s a great guy and he could perform very well if he joined a competitive car and at the moment, the Alpine is competitive. That’s just my words. I don’t have a decision to take. The team knows that this will be my preference.”

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Despite clearly preferring Schumacher, Ocon stated that he would have no problem teaming up with Gasly, even though the pair have had a difficult relationship over the years.
“Whoever will be on my side, I think the important thing for me is to guide the team in the best way possible, develop the car as best as we can and to have respect between both drivers in a good atmosphere – that’s the important thing,” Ocon added.
“With Pierre, we have a good relationship, there’s no problem, there’s respect between each other and on my side, whoever it will be, I am sure the team will make the best choice possible and we will be able to race well.”
The pair’s relationship goes back to karting, despite originally being friends. 
Sky Sports F1 pundit Paul di Resta revealed the pair didn’t get on last weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.

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Ocon has never had the best relationship with his former teammates, colliding with Sergio Perez on a number of occasions in 2017, while things have been sour, on occasion, with Alonso.
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