Esteban Ocon is one of the most improved drivers compared to 2020 amongst the current Formula 1 grid. The Alpine driver revealed the key role of his new engineering team in his recent breakthrough.
Alpine has had some development issues during the winter break, causing them to have a less competitive car compared to their 2020 single-seater. Nonetheless, after a few Grand Prix, it seems like everything is starting to go back to normal and getting back into place inside the French team.
The major internal restructuring plan Alpine went through during the offseason has probably taken the team a bit out of its stride but some major technical improvements seem to have been brought in the past weeks.
Nonetheless, with a car that is starting to show the ability to consistently fight for points, Ocon has seemingly found the right balance with his new team of engineers and is now outperforming his two-time world champion teammate Fernando Alonso.
This breakthrough in the career of the 24-year-old was a surprise for a lot of fans considering the hard time Daniel Ricciardo gave the Frenchman when they were teammates.
Asked if the changes in his working environment, and especially his new team of engineers were the reason behind his recent form, Ocon admitted seeing a big difference compared to last year.
“I am very pleased of what we are building at the moment because this is what I wanted for a long time,” Ocon told Motorsport.com.
“We are making an excellent team altogether, which is motivated, young, and hungry for the same aim as we have, which is performing, extracting, and doing the best we can with what we have in hands.”
“I feel like we are setting up the car a lot better, and I’ve gained a huge amount of performance with that.”
“It’s working well at the moment. So I feel good at the moment. I think we’re extracting close to the maximum of the car each weekend. And I want to continue like that.”
Ocon emphasized that things were already starting to improve at the end of the 2020 season, helping him to seize his P2 finish at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
“But we started to get that into the last events last year. And I out-qualified Daniel in Abu Dhabi, also. So it started to come on the right way towards the end of the year with the podium,” the Alpine driver said.
“It started to be quite nice towards the end of year, but we’ve continued that for the winter, and we’ve continued that overall in the beginning of the year.”