Ocon confirms Alpine will investigate causes of his poor qualifying pace

Esteban Ocon (Alpine) in Styria 2021. Credit: Alpine Racing Media

Esteban Ocon is still looking for answers to his poor qualifying performance. According to the Frenchman, Alpine is already working hard to find a solution.

In particular, they are looking at the latest updates and modifications to his F1 car as he made it to Q3 in Imola, Portugal, and Spain before these. After the updates, the Frenchman experienced a drop in performance. In Monaco, Baku, and France, he did not get past Q2. Now, at the Styrian GP, he was only 17th and ended qualifying after Q1.

Ocon said that there was no clear explanation for the latest results because his teammate Fernando Alonso had had a performance boost since the changes.

“For sure we are not happy with where we are. It’s not the aim for me or the team to be out of Q1. We are clearly unhappy with this, so we are looking into details to understand why that is.”

“Obviously the margins are quite small here, but we were lacking pace since FP3. From FP3 to qualy, we were not where we want to be.”

“A few things have changed for sure on the car since those times. I don’t know if that’s the reason, but we are investigating at the moment what it can be.”

“We see some areas on the data where we lacked performance compared to Fernando. We’ll see, we’ll see what comes out of this. But for sure, we need to regroup and come back with a stronger performance, because we are not happy with where we are now.”

Alan Permane said that Ocon’s deficit was made up of small details and that the performance looked worse than it actually was because the track at Spielberg was too short.

“It’s tricky because here you miss a tenth or two and on such a short track like this then you are out,” he explained. “I think he was two tenths slower than Alonso in Q1, and that’s the difference between 11th and 17th. So, it’s not much.”

“He’s struggling a little bit high to low-speed balance. Just dialling the car in there. A little too much understeer on the high speed and then if you try and correct that, you offset the low speed. I don’t think there’s anything sinister, nothing crazy, no big issues or anything like that.”

“It’s a boring thing to say, but it’s just going to be hard work for him and just get on. I don’t mean it will be hard work for him to do it. I mean he and his guys need to work hard and they’ll find a solution and they’ll tweak it and he’ll back to where he was.”

“He’s not suddenly forgotten how to drive at all. Of course, it’s frustrating for him. I can see that. And he’s missed Q2, Q3 in the last couple of races. But he’ll be back. He’ll figure it out and he’ll be back for sure.”

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