Esteban Ocon says Alpine are not in Formula 1 to be just participants ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Ocon secured Alpine’s first podium since the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix by finishing third last time out in Monaco.
“Everyone got a great reward after all the hard work after a difficult start to the season,” Ocon said to the media, including Total-Motorsport.com. “We can all be pleased with what we’ve achieved but obviously it’s feet to the ground coming into this weekend.”
“It’s going to be a good test to see where the car is after putting all of the upgrades on it and it’s a track that everyone knows super well.”
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is known inside out by all the teams and most of the drivers, as the track has been used as a testing venue most years by F1 this century.
It’s often a place where teams introduce updates, as they can make like for like comparisons with previous years’ data.
“We are going to give it all to be able to reproduce it [the podium in Monaco], that’s for sure, we are not here to just participate,” continued Ocon.
“But as I said, feet on the ground, it’s going to be a good test for us to exactly evaluate where we are after putting these updates on the car and I think there’s no better track for us to see where the car is exactly.”
Party in Monaco
The surprise podium for the team in Monte Carlo came at a much needed time following criticism from the CEO of Alpine, Laurent Rossi.
Rossi had accused the team of lacking the desire to improve and threatening to make changes to the structure of the team if results did not pick up.
“It’s been pretty wild,” Ocon said to the media, “Great to celebrate with my team and we were all out partying and it’s just been awesome.
“Everyone’s got a great reward after all the hard work and a difficult start to the season.
“I think it was clear that we were not happy with how the season started. We were struggling and not scoring as many points as we needed to.
“But we never stopped believing, we never stopped working the way that we should to get that car as high as it can go and nothing changed from that side.
“All the hard work has paid off and it shows that we can be there and it gives everyone more hunger to keep that going now that we’ve tasted it.”