Ocon calls on Alpine to continuously improve after losing ground to Aston Martin

Esteban Ocon believes Alpine must keep improving after losing ground to Aston Martin over the winter

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Esteban Ocon has called on Alpine to continue improving despite finishing eighth in Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

During the Jeddah weekend, Ocon remained unhappy with the balance of the car, noticing it was loose in FP3, which made it tricky to set up for qualifying.

Although Ocon’s pace improved following a change in set-up, the team are still behind Aston Martin, who have enjoyed a stellar start to the season thanks to Fernando Alonso’s pair of third-place finishes.

“No, I haven’t had a good feeling from the start, especially in FP3 explained Ocon to the media. “The car didn’t feel as I would have liked it, the rear was loose, and it was quite tricky to set up.

“We turned it around from FP3 to qualifying, so strong job from my side of the garage. We can’t be satisfied with where we are at the moment.

“There are a couple of teams that have improved massively, so we need to keep fighting, and we can’t be satisfied [with] where we finished.”

Relieved to get season started

Esteban Ocon in action during the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix|Alpine Media

After suffering over 20 seconds of penalties in the season-opening Bahrain GP, Ocon had a much smoother time in Jeddah, qualifying in the top 10 for the second weekend running.

Ocon then enjoyed a quiet race leading home Pierre Gasly for Alpine’s first double points finish of the season.

“Happy to finally start my season!” Ocon jokingly said. “Strong weekend for us. We maximised qualifying and the race as well. We [just] couldn’t hold [onto] the cars in front.

“We thought it was possible to hold the Ferraris, but they were too fast and pulled away in the middle phase of the second stint, so we just managed the pace to bring the car home.

“Strong weekend on the whole, but we need to be able to catch the cars in front, so hopefully, we understood plenty, and we can come back stronger.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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