Esteban Ocon reckons one more lap would have helped them get Lando Norris in F1 Belgian GP, while Pierre Gasly adds on strategy.

After a slow start to their weekend, Alpine came alive in F1 Belgian GP on Sunday in dry conditions for which they had the set-up. Both started outside the Top 10 but had a hefty fight to get inside with multiple cars on equal pace around them.

It was Ocon who showed strong pace when it mattered towards the end aided by a correct strategy to catch Alexander Albon, Yuki Tsunoda and Norris. He managed to pass both Albon and Tsunoda to be eighth but didn’t have enough time to pass Norris.

“One more lap, always one more lap,” said Ocon to media. “That’s what Lando could have said for many occasions where we raced together. I enjoyed the last lap battles with him all the time. And it always seems to happen together. But not this time, unfortunately. But yeah, I’m glad that, you know, we saved our weekend in a way.

“Friday, Saturday didn’t go to plan, we didn’t put everything together. But clearly that race, we could show the real pace of the car, and how it was working. And yeah, I had some really good battles out there. I had a lot of fun. Lance, Pierre, Yuki, all these guys. It was really good battle. Alex as well, got him around the outside of 12.

“It was really good fun. So yeah, what if it was a dry weekend on the rest? Because, you know, I think we had clearly that pace in the rest. But that’s how it is. And it’s very encouraging that each time we bring an update, the car seems to take a step forward. And, yeah, clearly I dedicate that one to Viry and Enstone, because it’s really encouraging that what we bring to the track really makes us a step forward,” summed up Ocon.

The Frenchman reckoned the car was pretty solid in the corners which helped him to catch his rivals and able to make some moves which were heart and mouth moment. “The pace that we had on entry of corners and especially medium to high speed, looking at how low in downforce we were, it was quite impressive,” said Ocon.

“Clearly, yeah, much more stability in the car, much more grip. And yeah, it was very noticeable.” The race also had a moment when Ocon had to pass teammate Gasly, who did move away knowing the pace his teammate had on the soft compound in the last stint.

Gasly too had a good race from where he started especially after dropping back in the pack while avoiding Oscar Piastri but he wasn’t happy. “I mean, I had a very good start, I made two positions, and I was on the inside line, which I thought was gonna be amazing until I saw Oscar like 150kph slower than everyone else,” he said to media.

“And I was just stuck behind. So I slammed the brake. And I just waited for a gap to pass him. But it was just a train passing by, it was very painful to watch one by one all the guys passing me, and from I think 9th or 10th I dropped to 17th. So it was clearly not the start we had hoped for,” summed up Gasly as he explained how they tried a strategy which worked but didn’t as well in some ways.

“Because we wanted to do two stops,” said Gasly. “And I think from P17, they thought, ‘Okay, there is some potential rain, so we’ll stay out as long as we can’. So I tried to nurse the soft tyre forever. And I thought, ‘Okay, we might gain a lot there’. And finally, it didn’t rain enough. So by the time we boxed, we had lost already quite a lot.

“And we tried to make the one stop work, but it was just… it was just too hard on the tyres and lost some time in the pitstop, lost a position to Alex and I think I’m gonna probably have nightmares of that Williams rear wing because these guys are just seems like a different category in the straights.

“And it was just, yeah, we sort of bet everything on our top speed this weekend, went really low downforce. And it was strong all weekend. But I don’t know why, I was that slow on the straights. So we we’ll check that with the guys, and I just had to come with a different plan to pass him. But it cost me quite a bit,” summed up Gasly, who eventually admitted that the one stop didn’t work for him.

“I was surprised myself with the soft,” he said. “Clearly for us they worked really well. And medium was definitely more difficult. So yeah, well, we’ll see. But I think ultimately, the one stop was a bit ambitious. And we kind of gambled on the rain and sadly didn’t work.”

Here’s how F1 Belgian GP panned out