January 13, 2023

Ocon confident Alpine has solved problem on his F1 car

Ocon made an impressive start to the year for Alpine, recording four consecutive points finishes between Imola and Monaco, but saw his form take a dip from Baku onwards.

The Frenchman saw his season hit a low in Austria as he was eliminated in Q1 at both races, resulting in a first-lap DNF in the second event that he pinned on his grid position.

Ocon struggled to understand why he was lacking so much pace compared to team-mate Fernando Alonso, prompting Alpine to complete a chassis change ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

It appeared to have the desired effect as Ocon qualified 13th, lapping within one-tenth of a second of Alonso, and then finished both the sprint race and Sunday’s grand prix inside the top 10.

The performance left Ocon content that the team had got to the bottom of his issues with the A521 car, helping end his slump.

“Yes, I’m pretty sure we’ve solved the issue that we had,” Ocon said.

“It’s not only a chassis change that we’ve done. There were a lot of things [in the] background and other paths that we changed. We spotted something after [Austria] on the Monday, and we questioned ourselves if that could be the reason.

“The only thing I care about is that, obviously, I feel good now. And as soon as we did go out with the car in practice one, it was competitive, like it should be. That was much better.”

Ocon had faced questions about his own motivation being a factor in the slump in form, given it coincided with a signing of a new three-year contract with Alpine.

But Ocon felt it was clear the issue lay with the chassis given his results were “completely out of where the car was performing” for Alonso.

“We were a lot slower than the other side of the garage,” Ocon said. “The car was always capable of just being in Q3. That’s where we were supposed to be fighting.

“That’s what we’ve done this weekend [at Silverstone]. The first run of Q2, I was inside the top 10. There was a messy last run in Q2, with a lot of traffic and overtaking in the last corner before starting the lap and stuff. Otherwise we could have been in Q3.

“That hasn’t been the case for a long time. So I’m pretty sure we spotted what was wrong, and hopefully we can continue that run of scoring points like we were doing in the beginning of the year.”

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