Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team. 28.11.2023. Formula 1 Testing, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Tuesday.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon admitted that the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix represented one of several races that cost him in the Drivers’ Championship, stating he “could have been in the top 10”
After an impressive display that saw him finish fourth in Las Vegas, Ocon was unable to trouble the points at the Yas Marina Circuit along with team-mate Pierre Gasly.
This back-to-back of races with wildly different results signifies a problem that Ocon wishes to be resolved and one that cost him this year in the standings.
“What is more important is for us to be understanding what has been happening this season, quite a lot of up and down in terms of performance, in terms of pace,” he said.
“Today we were not quick enough, unfortunately, to get into the top 10 and to score points.
“And the consistency, I think, is what we need to get better, clearly.
“So good opportunities that we took, as Monaco, as Las Vegas and stuff like that, but quite a lot we didn’t, like Singapore and Austin.
“And if you take these two, we probably could have been in the top 10 in the championship in Drivers. And it’s worth what it’s worth, but clearly, it means that we didn’t maximise the season.”
Following the conclusion of the Abu Dhabi GP, Ocon was grateful that this week’s testing provided the opportunity to investigate Alpine’s confusing and inconsistent pace problem.
“If it was a weekend like Las Vegas, it would not be worth very much for us, because we were competitive,” Ocon added. “But on a track where we struggled that much, there is a lot for us to understand.
“If we can pick up something before next year, why that was, then it’s going to be a good thing. So that’s why the test is going to be super important.
“I’m already thinking about it, already thinking about that five o’clock time where it’s going to be almost dark, and try to figure out something.”
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A523. 28.11.2023. Formula 1 Testing, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Tuesday.
Fast forward to Tuesday and the first day of testing showed that perhaps Ocon and Alpine are finding the answers they need, with the Frenchman topping the timesheet.
The test marks the final proper piece of running in 2023, with less than 100 days until the 2024 curtain raiser in Bahrain, which is preceded by pre-season testing.
So, given there’s a small offseason, Ocon is affording himself little time off as he prepares to train hard to improve upon this year.
“I think 17th of December, that’s when I will restart training,” he revealed.
“So that’s until Christmas, yeah, like almost a week there and then from second of Jan until the first test I will be back fully, you know, into training camp.
“I’m gonna be more doing the way I was doing in 2022 which is no life, flat out only racing. You know, we’ve been doing a lot of different things and activations outside the track this year, that’s gonna change, next year it’s back to, you know, war mode and fully focused on the racing side.”
Keyword: Ocon rues missed opportunities in 2023 costing him ‘top 10’ spot