Pierre Gasly believes that following a close incident with Esteban Ocon at the Mexican Grand Prix, their rivalry is proving to have a negative impact on them both. The French duo have been racing each other since their karting days and were good friends for many years.
However Gasly claims that the pair have fallen out in recent times, saying that Ocon "didn't like it" when Gasly began to beat him. Next season, Gasly will move to Red Bull to replace Daniel Ricciardo while Ocon is set to be without a drive in Formula 1.
“At the moment it’s [the rivalry] not good for either of us. We lost 2.5 seconds which caused me also a flat-spot,” Gasly told RaceFans regarding the battle with Ocon last time out in Mexico City. "In the end maybe he could have finished P10, I could have finished P9.
“You need to be objective,” he said. “I try to focus on my race and try to make it clean but I think this was slightly over the limit. In the end I finished in front of him so that’s OK.”
The stewards investigated the incident that occurred between them during the race. Gasly believes that he was forced off the circuit by the Force India driver, but Ocon was cleared of any wrongdoing and Gasly was judged to have broken too late.
“I think he wasn’t super-happy by the fact that starting last I think I recovered and managed to overtake him. He pushed me wide and I had to go off-track. I could have forced the way in turn five and we could have had contact but I thought it wasn’t worth it and I would have another go after that.”
Gasly firmly believes that Ocon should have provided him with more space: “For me it wasn’t fair. Either you say you need to leave the space for [one] car or you say things are allowed and you can race aggressively, which I don’t mind. You can compare this situation with many others this year which happened with other drivers, also in my case in Silverstone for example.
"It just seems to be quite weird and quite a grey area with the fact that usually you should leave the space of one car and clearly there wasn’t the space there. Maybe I will speak with Charlie [Whiting, FIA race director] just to know because if this is allowed then next time I know what I can do.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing