Esteban Ocon on “good” double points finish: “Pleased to bounce back”

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Alpine’s beginning of the 2023 season probably didn’t live up to their expectations. The French-owned team had had a very positive season in the first year with the new generation of cars, ending the year with 173 points and P4 in the Constructors’ Championship, ahead of McLaren.

Pierre Gasly had scored two points in his first race for Alpine, whereas Esteban Ocon had retired after getting three different time penalties, which was followed by a double points finish in Saudi Arabia.

Neither Melbourne nor Baku smiled to the French duo, as the drivers crashed out of the Australian GP together and didn’t manage to get into the top 10 in the Azerbaijan GP, suffering from a number of crashes and technical isssues throughout the whole weekend.

However, Miami might be the beginning of a redemption arc for the team, with the drivers ending the race with a second double points finish of the campaign.

Ocon, in his fourth season with Alpine, was extremely satisfied with being able to score points for the second time in this year, as he said after the Miami GP:

“I think it’s been good to finish with both cars in the points today. I am pleased to bounce back from a tough weekend last weekend.”

The French driver went on to recall the highlights of his performance, which include overtakes and duels for the points with Sainz and Bottas:

“Some good fights out there – some good lunges on Valtteri, some good fights with Carlos, back and forward, he passed me, I passed him, but he finished in front.”

Both Alpine drivers had performed particularly well during the qualifying session on Saturday, also thanks to the red flag brought out by Leclerc’s spin, allowing Ocon to start in P8 and, even more impressively, Gasly in P5.

The former believes that the particular strategy chosen by the team could have had a more positive outcome, if he had qualified a little bit higher the day before.

Unfortunately, we had an aggressive strategy that we knew was a little bit slower. There could have been more rewards, but it didn’t pay for us today.

“So, quite costly that qualifying from yesterday. We knew that we could have probably finished sixth or seventh today, but it’s time before it comes,” concluded Ocon, who has complete faith in his team’s hard work and in the potential his car, the A523, holds.

Now Alpine is tied on 14 points with last year’s rivals McLaren as Formula 1 heads to Imola, a track where the French team recently managed to score a podium with Daniel Ricciardo, and thus a great location to try and succeed in keeping up the double points finish streak.