Alpine’s Esteban Ocon said he was delighted after qualifying P4 for the Monaco Grand Prix, just 0.2s off pole position.
Despite being beaten by three cars, nobody expected that kind of pace from the A523, delighting the team that has recently been under-fire from their CEO.
“I mean before the weekend, if you told us we would qualify above fifth, we would have already signed.” Ocon said to the media.
“But it’s even better than that, it’s less than two tenths away from pole position.
“We’re extremely happy with how we feel the weekend has gone until now, from simulator to every session that we’ve done.
At one point, it looked like the Frenchman was going to shock the world and claim pole, but he was beaten to it by Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc.
Ocon’s lap came from nowhere to stun the F1 grid and audiences, as the Frenchman used all of his talent around Monte Carlo.
“I felt confident in the car from run one, being able to push a lot harder than usual.
“I let it go 100% on that last lap and hit the wall very hard a couple of times, but that definitely have us a good amount of lap time.
“So yeah, I’m very pleased with how we’ve been developing.”
Despite qualifying in Alpine’s highest spot of the season, Ocon wondered if he could have squeezed even more out of his car to take his first career pole.
“188 milliseconds away from pole.” Ocon said to the press.
“What could have been if I got a better exit, or I got cooler temperatures from the tyres in the last couple of corners?
“You never know, but I think it was pretty well-maximised.”