Ocon says ‘all doubts are gone’ following chassis change, as he targets return to early season form
A chassis change for Esteban Ocon ahead of the British Grand Prix yielded the Frenchman’s first points since Monaco for his ninth place finish. And Ocon said ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix that his doubts over the performance of his Alpine A521 had now been put to bed.
A rough patch of form for Ocon after that P9 at Monaco saw him fail to score at Baku, France, and the pair of Austrian races, as team mate Fernando Alonso scored at all four Grands Prix. But with Alpine having agreed to complete a chassis change in time for Silverstone, Ocon was able to race to P9 there – something he admitted at the Hungaroring had been a relief.
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“Yes definitely,” Ocon replied, when asked if he was back to feeling comfortable with the car. “Straight away when we put the car down for FP1 [at Silverstone], we saw that everything was working back to how it felt three races ago, and that's very good news. It was a big effort from the team to try and diagnose what were the issues and what to change. So those doubts are out of the way now and everything is working as it should.
“I'm not going to go into details [over what was changed],” Ocon added. “But there were a lot of different parts that we changed, together with the chassis. It was not only the chassis but when you take the chassis out, you check all the components that go with it and that has been a good thing, to rebuild the car, check exactly if everything was correct and rebuild it fresh basically.”
Ocon’s dip in form arrested a strong start to the season for the Frenchman, who’d had the measure of team mate Alonso across the first five races of the year. But Ocon said there were nonetheless plenty of good points to take from the first half of 2021 as F1 approaches the summer break after Hungary.
“I think there's a lot of positives to take from the season on my side,” said Ocon.
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“I think we've had some really good performances, some good highlights, some good speed in qualifying. There's been a few less good races recently, but I feel like we're coming back into the early season race pace that we had so I see it as a good half of season. Not everything complete, but pretty pleased with how it's started.”