Esteban Ocon’s “extremely pleased” with third in Monaco

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Esteban Ocon managed to control a chaotic race in Monaco, becoming the first French driver to finish on the Monaco podium since Olivier Panis in 1996.

Photo credit: Alpine F1 Team

After starting in third place, Ocon managed to hold off Carlos Sainz despite being under pressure from the superior Ferrari.

In an effort to gain track position, Sainz and Ferrari attempted to pressure Alpine to pit in Ocon earlier than planned. Still, the Enstone-based team insisted on holding their track position, which was essential to ensuring a successful race in Monaco. Sainz had his most significant chance to pass Ocon on the 52nd lap since the rain had started to fall, but he crashed at the Nouvelle Chicane and had to yield.

Lewis Hamilton subsequently attacked Ocon during the race’s rain-delayed phase since the Mercedes duo had undercut the Ferraris. Still, the Frenchman resisted and managed to maintain his podium position, getting the fan vote on ” Driver of the Day”, too.

When talking about his race with Sainz and Hamilton he said: “Today has been a little bit of a harder race. We hold that podium for a while, we had it secure but you know, I got a touch from Carlos at one stage, got damage on the on the back of the car. And then the rain shuffled everything again, and we had to choose to take the Inters at the right time. And we did so. And from there on I was under a huge amount of pressure from Lewis. We seem to be always the two fighting together when the conditions are like that! So yeah, we know each other well in those conditions. And yeah, until the last lap, he was pushing flat-out. He was quicker in the wet section from Five to Eight, and I was quicker on the dry sections. But yeah, it’s been an incredibly tough race to get under control but the reward is immense. So, I’m extremely pleased.”

When talking about his weekend, he added: “We had a difficult start to the season but from the first session, I felt strong in the car, felt confident at the wheel. I was able to push, session after sessions, closer to the limit than I’m usually doing in Monaco. And, and yeah, I mean, that allowed me to do the lap I did yesterday, which is obviously 90 per cent of the job – normally – in Monaco. “

When asked about his historic achievement he said: “It’s been a while, feels good, I can tell you that! I’m speechless at the moment. I’m a little bit on my cloud still. You know, before the weekend, if you told us that we are going to be in the top 10, we would have been happy. It would have been a strong weekend. But we are not in the top 10, we are not in the top five, we are on the podium this weekend here in Monaco.”

His Teammate, Pierre Gasly, also finished seventh, bringing a double-point result to Alpine, a result that was needed for the team that had struggled so far in the season.

This result also comes after a fiery interview with Laurent Rossi, Alpine’s CEO, where he deemed the team’s season so far as “unacceptable” and even “amateurish”. When asked about it he stated: Everyone’s delighted, that’s for sure.”

“Formula 1 is unpredictable. You don’t know what’s going to happen and at the moment how tight the field is, a little bit more pace can change your weekend completely. And, and yeah, this weekend, it’s been an awesome one, an awesome preparation and yeah, as I keep saying, we keep pushing, we don’t stop believing and hopefully that’s the first podium of many.”