Ocon: “Difficult to go through Q1” when having heavier Alpine F1 car than Gasly by “a couple of kilos”

Photo Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team
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Esteban Ocon had disappointing results in qualifying yesterday, getting knocked out in Q1. To make matters worse, even though his lap time of 1:13.435 was enough for P18, the French driver will start the race last because of the five-place grid penalty he got for causing a collision in Monaco.

His Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly managed to get to Q2, but dropped out with only a P15 result, so the team won’t have it easy today if they are to score some points.

Evaluating and summarizing his short run in qualifying before being knocked out, Ocon spoke about the close field and the traffic that perhaps cost him the time required to get through.

Ocon was P4 at one stage with his time but tumbled down the order as others improved in the last couple of minutes.

“I mean, it was super tight out there. I lost the tenths in [turns] six and seven because George was in front quite close. Nothing he could have really done better, you know. That’s how it is.

“But that, and on top of ir the start of the lap, which I parked there for like 25 seconds. It’s not the right [tyre] prep, you know, driving in the dirt before going into turn two,” the Frenchman added.

However, Ocon also explained other possible reasons behind his not-so-good performance and pace of the car, explaining he’s been running with a heavier A524 compared to Gasly, although they will be swapping around on that as the year goes on.

“And the other thing is that it’s been a couple of events that, my car is quite a lot heavier than Pierre’s.

“We will rotate fairly in the year. That is very clear,” he assured.

“But since Miami, that is the case. So, you know, it doesn’t… when all these things add up, it makes [it] difficult, basically, to go through Q1.”

When asked about the added weight on his car and the specific difference in the lap times with it, Ocon refused to expand too much.

“I’m not going to go into detail, but it’s a couple of kilos.”

The Alpine driver still tries to be on top of things and hopes for a better result in the Sunday race if they manage to “optimize everything”, but notes that “we don’t seem to have great pace this weekend, unfortunately”.