After Alpine’s first point finish of the season, Esteban Ocon says the French team has made progress compared to Bahrain and that they should be able to fight for better places in the near future.
Kimi Raikkonen was handed a 30-second penalty at the end of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, helping Alpine to secure their first double point-finish, with P10 for Alonso and P9 for Ocon.
The French team decided not to work on their engine during this offseason, causing them to have lost a lot of ground in terms of performance, compared to Honda’s and Mercedes’ engines.
This is probably the main reason why they are so far away from their last season’s main rival McLaren. Both teams were fighting with the same Renault V6 Hybrid power unit last season, but this year the British team made a leap forward, switching to a Mercedes power unit.
Alpine, therefore, had a disappointing first Grand Prix in Bahrain. The team had to bring a new aero package to Imola, in order to limit the damages. Ocon admitted being satisfied with the new package and says the team had a good pace when the track was dry.
“We were quicker than the Sauber [Alfa Romeo] today [on Sunday]. We are not where we want to be exactly, but we’ve made a step this weekend with the upgrades that we got and we felt good in the car driving it for myself and Fernando and, yeah, we want to score more points in the next race,” Ocon said.
“I think we have our spot in the top 10, that is clear today. Today hasn’t been a straightforward race like it has been the rest of the weekend. I think we had the potential to potentially be P7, P8, that the dry pace was actually quite solid.”
Ocon is therefore hoping to be able to fight for better results in the near future, and probably be able to contest for the fourth place in the constructor’s championship. Nonetheless, Alonso also admitted not being at ease with the A521 this weekend and will have to find pace quickly, for the team to keep up with AlphaTauri in the leaderboard.