Saudi Arabia GP | Ocon despite first points: “We can’t be satisfied”

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Having started from sixth place on the grid and crossed the checkered flag in eighth place, Esteban Ocon declares to be “happy to finally start my season”.

Two weeks after the Bahrain GP, during which he had to serve three penalties, the French driver redeemed himself with the first points of the season being able to count on his A523 which proved to be very performing.

“Strong weekend for us, we maximised qualifying and the race as well,” he commented.

Alpine scored points with both cars as Gasly finished 9th behind Ocon. At one stage the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix winner thought they could challenge the Ferraris but ultimately lacked the pace.

“We couldn’t hold the cars in front really,” stated Ocon.

“We thought that at some point it was going to be possible to hold the Ferraris but they were too fast and pull away in that middle phase of the second stint, so we just managed the pace and bring the car back home.

“We need a little bit more to be able to be able to catch the cars in front. That’s where we were today so “hopefully we understood plenty and we can come back stronger on the next one.”

It was a weekend that didn’t start on high for the Alpine driver, as it saw him not feeling good and comfortable in the car during free practice. A feeling that, thanks to the work of the team, has turned into a good performance both in qualifying and in the race.

“It hasn’t been a good feeling from the start and especially in FP3, the car didn’t really feel as I would have liked. The rear was very loose, the car was tricky to put together. We turned it around from FP3 to qualifying so strong job from my side of the team to have been able to do that.

“We had to obviously fight to get a car the way we wanted, to have confidence in the car, because if you are not confident here, you are nowhere.”

Despite the placement in the top-10, there is no satisfaction both from Ocon and the team. But there is certainly no lack of desire to fight: the focus right now is into make progress in the next GPs in order to close the gap with the teams ahead.

“We can’t be satisfied with where we are at the moment. There are a couple of teams that have improved massively over the others. It shows that it is possible and we need to keep fighting, keep digging and keep thinking.

“That’s the atmosphere inside the team as well. But no, we can’t be satisfied with where we finished today.”