Esteban Ocon was chuffed with a solid result in F1 Austrian GP as Fernando Alonso hailed it as his best grand prix after starting from the back.
For Alpine, it was a very good weekend with Ocon taking a fine fifth for his best result so far in 2022 coupled with teammate Alonso taking tenth, despite having started the race at the back of the grid owing to issues prior to the Sprint race.
After the race, a delighted Ocon who entered his 100th Grand Prix, spoke to media, and as it was his best result so far, the Frenchman could not keep a smile off his face after a hefty battle with multiple drivers at the start of the grand prix.
“Fight with George, fight with Kevin, fight with Lewis a bit,” started Ocon. “We had quite a few fights. We did a lot overtakes in between on Zhou, on quite a few drivers coming back through the field. It has been an awesome weekend really from the beginning really, from qualifying to sprint quali’ to the Grand Prix.
“I think we optimized the performance and get the maximum out of it from the beginning so. Thirteen points in total is a really solid operation out of this weekend and we can be pleased with how it went,” summed up Ocon.
A solid and tidy performance from the French outfit with points in the race from both drivers and sixth place in the sprint race for Ocon which netted points also. And yet it could have even been better had Alonso not have his issues at the start of the Sprint race.
“It’s never great to have such problems but as I said I did trust the team and they fixed the problem and we run the race with no issues at all and we were almost going to finish in front of George you know, it was quite close and I believe I had it at one point but a bit of work to do in that regard,” said Ocon.
“I think we had this weekend [a faster car than McLaren] clearly. There were hopes that we could have fought with George at the time, but after the restart he was too fast so I had to let him go. But it looked like this weekend we were [the fourth fastest team]. Hopefully it will be at all the rest of the circuits,” summed up Ocon.
For teammate Alonso, a difficult weekend to say the least with electrical maladies forcing him to retire from the Sprint race at the formation lap stage. As a result, a back of the grid start probably cost him a more solid result which was a pity but a point at the end of the day was better than nothing and assisted Alpine in their Constructors Championship battle.
He also had tyre trouble in between which further put him behind. But he still fought back to score the point showing good pace. “One point is better than nothing considering we started on the back row,” said Alonso. “I think it was one of my best races this season, other than probably at Silverstone last weekend.
“I think we were fighting for sixth or seventh positions, but then there were some strange vibrations on the tyres we fitted after our second stop under the Virtual Safety Car. As it was still under the VSC, we decided to stop again for another new set of tyres. Unfortunately, we lost some positions with this extra pit-stop and had to fight back on the last few laps.
“In the end we managed to take tenth position. Ultimately, only one point from this race feels a little bit of a shame for me, but we can be very happy with our overall pace and performance as a team this weekend,” summed up Alonso.
A significant weekend for the team with their performance and particularly from Ocon. The results achieved moved them to joint fourth in the Constructors race with McLaren. A two week break now ensues before Alpine, and Ocon attend their home Grand Prix at Paul Ricard.
Here’s Fernando Alonso against Yuki Tsunoda: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2022-austrian-grand-prix-hamilton-breezes-past-ocon-for-fourth-on-the-run-to-turn-3.1737973971986378144.html