Gasly and Ocon pleased to see Alpine ‘bounce back’ in Miami after nightmare Melbourne and Baku weekends
Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon expressed their satisfaction as Alpine recovered from two challenging race weekends in Australia and Azerbaijan to log a double points finish in the Miami Grand Prix.
The two Frenchmen retired after crashing into each other during the late restart at Albert Park and neither were able to score on the visit to the Baku City Circuit last time out, putting the pressure on for the race in South Florida.
But on a much smoother weekend at the Miami International Autodrome, the pair came home eighth and ninth, with Gasly a few seconds ahead of his team mate, as Alpine proved to be fifth-quickest behind Red Bull, Aston Martin, Mercedes and Ferrari.
“I will say there was clearly some positives,” said Gasly, as he assessed his race. “I took a great start, managed to be fourth for the start of the race, for a few laps. I pushed really hard trying to keep up with Carlos [Sainz] and Fernando [Alonso], but we just lacked a bit of pace.”
Gasly added, however, that he felt more was possible in Sunday’s race. “I was running in P6 until a few laps to the end and unfortunately we had to do quite a lot of fuel-saving in the last 10 to 15 laps. Charles [Leclerc] and Lewis [Hamilton] came back pretty quickly and passed me four laps to the end, [so I’m] a bit gutted.
“But I think there are still a lot of positives. We still managed to fight one Ferrari and one Mercedes until the end of the race, [so] it clearly shows we made a step forward. [We’ve] got to keep pushing, [but we] managed to bounce back and score double points for the team, so we will build from there.”
As for Ocon, he was similarly pleased to mark a return to the points after crossing the line just under two-and-a-half seconds behind team mate Gasly.
“I think it’s been good to finish with both cars in the points today,” he said. “I’m pleased to bounce back from a tough weekend last weekend and [had] some good fights out there – some good lunges on Valtteri [Bottas], some good fights with Carlos [Sainz], back and forward, he passed me I passed him, but he finished in front.
“Unfortunately, we had an aggressive strategy that we knew was a little bit slower, but there could have been more rewards, but it didn’t pay for us today. So, quite costly that [P8 in] qualifying from yesterday. We knew that we could have probably finished sixth or seventh today, but it’s [a matter of] time before it comes.”
Alpine sit sixth in the constructors’ standings after the first five rounds of the season – their haul in Miami bringing them level on 14 points with McLaren, who they narrowly beat to P4 last season.