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Ocon Saudi GP Strategy F1 2024

Ocon Labels Saudi GP ‘An Opportunistic Race’

15/03/2024

In the Saudi Arabian GP, Esteban Ocon showcased resilience and strategic insight, turning challenges into opportunities for the Alpine F1 team.

Esteban Ocon is pleased to have found himself battling for points during the Saudi Arabian GP. The Alpine F1 driver capitalized on being in the pack to analyze the behavior of other cars and further understand the deficiencies of his A524.

“I believe we should call it an opportunistic race,” Ocon stated. “I think we were virtually in tenth place at one point because Kevin had a penalty.”

“We navigated, we fought, and there were many battles. But in the end, it wasn’t enough. We reached a point we couldn’t maintain. In fact, we were faster than what the car could deliver towards the end, and we fell back.”

“It’s clear that we need to improve for the upcoming races. Driving more with other drivers, it was easier to spot them than in Bahrain. We’ll continue to delve, to push, and I’ll be at the factory this week, so I’ll keep pushing to find solutions with the guys.

“Compared to Bahrain, I think we identified quite a few things that we can improve here. But there’s still much to enhance, and we’re aware of it.”

Ocon reveals that the team realized late last year that their car would be slow: “In the simulator in December, I think that’s when we realized there were issues we needed to address.”

“That’s probably when we became aware. I think we need to improve throughout the year, step by step. Obviously, it’s going to take time; it won’t happen overnight.”

“Developments throughout the year”

He also hopes to rely on good new features within his team: “It’s planned to bring developments throughout the year. So, we hope that with each new feature, we will make progress.”

Despite gaining positions during the race, Ocon is frustrated to see that he didn’t have the level of most cars around him and thinks the Jeddah layout helped him maintain the positions he had gained.

“I couldn’t really fight. It’s a bit much to say that we could fight. We managed to get ahead of them in one way or another, but on a normal circuit, I think, with normal situations, and without fighting, we are still behind.”

The Frenchman has no problem with Haas F1’s tactic to score a point: “It was robust. But I like that, so I have no complaints. Is it too much? I don’t know. It’s up to the FIA to decide if it’s too much or not, it’s not for me to say. But being behind, with all the traffic it created, led to tricky situations.”

“I think his team was very tough on him about it [asking him to slow down rivals]. To say the least, it was quite chaotic. I had good opportunities because otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have been able to fight for it.”

Ocon Saudi GP Strategy. Ocon Saudi GP Strategy.

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