Ocon and his teammate Pierre Gasly both felt that their cars weren’t performing well enough after finishing 8th and 9th in the Saudi Arabian GP. The two cars ran close together for most of the race and even had a short argument after the safety car restarted. It’s clear from the speed of Ocon’s A523 that it is one of the 5 fastest cars at the moment, however, Ocon has made it clear that this performance isn’t good enough and everyone on the team is working hard to make progress.
“We’re not happy with where we ended up today,” he said. “Some teams have made huge improvements which proves that it’s achievable. We need to keep working hard and stay positive, but we can’t be content with our results.” Ocon was very relieved that he scored points after being given numerous punishments at the Bahrain race.
I’m so glad I can start my season now. We did our best in the qualifying sessions and race today, but we couldn’t beat the Ferraris because they were faster than us. We hoped that we could at least keep up with them, but in the middle part of the race, they just got much too far ahead.
We made it back with our car and we had a good weekend overall. But, we need to do better if we want to catch up to the rest of the cars. We should have learned a lot from this race. Hopefully, all that knowledge will help us do even better in the next one. Esteban Ocon from the Alpine A523 team didn’t feel comfortable driving for much of the weekend.
He said, “It wasn’t a good feeling from the start. And especially in FP3 (which is shorthand for something race fuel related), the car was really hard to drive. So we had to fix it and try our best to make it better before qualifying. We worked hard to make sure that we could create the car that we wanted, and more importantly, that we would feel confident about driving it. Without confidence, there’s no way we can do well.”
When F1Flow.com asked Gasly if he expected more from the Jeddah race, he said ‘Yes’. He even thought they could have had more pace to join the fight and do better – but unfortunately, they just finished 8th and 9th place, about 10 seconds behind the Ferraris.
Mercedes proved to be faster than expected. We need to find out how we can do even better. Gasly had a really tough qualifying session although he said the car was working great earlier in the day. But he still wasn’t content with it on Sunday either.
“Mercedes said it is okay to copy the Red Bull F1 car concept. My second race with Mercedes was good as I scored points, but there are still things I need to work on. Last Saturday, I felt good but then in qualifying and the race, I faced a bit of difficulty.”
We are going to review everything, but it’s only the second race so it’s time to build up and learn and put pieces together quickly. We have some ideas of what needs to be improved, but we don’t have any clear answers yet on why or how that should happen. Still, we know what must be changed.