Ocon 'hungry' for stronger 2024 performance after 'most interesting test ever'
Esteban Ocon was in a buoyant mood following the post-season test in Abu Dhabi as he immediately set his sights on Alpine’s 2024 car.
The Frenchman’s season certainly had its highs – his third-place in Monaco the pick of the bunch – but Alpine’s campaign was peppered with a lack of consistency that saw Ocon finish the campaign 12th in the drivers’ championship with seven DNFs along the way. His team mate Pierre Gasly was just a place and four points ahead in the standings, while Alpine had to settle for sixth in the constructors’.
But despite those high points, the inconsistency of 2023 and events away from the track will have hastened the desire for the team to look to the future as Ocon himself insisted he was “not the happiest” with the season.
There has also been plenty key personnel changes at Alpine with former Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer departing following the Belgian Grand Prix, along with then-Sporting Director Alan Permane, while Davide Brivio became the latest senior departure earlier this week.
However, on the track in Abu Dhabi at the end of November, Esteban Ocon’s hopes were high as he topped the leaderboard in what he called the “most interesting test ever”, boosting his excitement for what next year might bring.
“It was a very interesting day, being able to test things that we were not able to test in the race and throughout the year,” he said following the event.
“You know, it’s been a very free test in a way so that was very interesting. It was probably the most interesting test that I’ve ever done and some good outcomes from it as well. It’s going to be useful for next year’s car in general and I’m happy with the outcome.”
While 2023 was full of highs and lows, Alpine’s focus through the winter will be on raising the performance and consistency of their package for 2024, following a relative decline.
This time last year they had been coming off the back of a P4 finish in the constructors’, while this year they will reflect on dropping back two places, picking up 53 less points in the process.
It’s something Ocon was acutely aware of throughout the test, with the Frenchman looking forward as the team try to extract every ounce of data they can to benefit their 2024 car.
“We are trying to keep learning from this year and hopefully bring the good things into next year’s car, and that’s going to be the aim over the winter as well, on the simulator to be able to extract the maximum out of the data that we’ve just put in there,” Ocon explained.
“So a really good day, clean stuff happened out there and we can be proud of today from everyone because it’s been a long season, everyone is tired at this point and we had zero issues with both cars and they’ve run squeaky clean.”
He added: “We keep on working and I’m pretty sure good things will come. I trust the team to do a good job over the winter and everyone is hungry for more, to keep on improving, and that’s what we’re aiming for.”