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Ocon ‘not the happiest’ with Alpine’s 2023 season as he picks out what cost team through the year

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Esteban Ocon admits he is not too happy about Alpine’s 2023 season, believing a lack of consistency in their performances cost them a few places in the championship.

Ocon and Alpine showed good form in 2022, finishing fourth in the constructors’ standings during the first season of new ground effect technical regulations. The Frenchman also placed eighth in the drivers’ championship – one spot ahead of former team mate Fernando Alonso.

READ MORE: ‘Honestly, it was tough’ – Gasly reflects on early-season coming together with team mate Ocon

However, they suffered a dip in form in 2023 and, with rivals Aston Martin and McLaren producing and developing much more competitive cars, the French outfit dropped down the pecking order, placing sixth overall.

This came despite Alpine achieving two podium finishes this year – after scoring none in 2022 – with Ocon finishing third in Monaco, while team mate Pierre Gasly took the final spot on the rostrum in Zandvoort.

However, reflecting on a year in which he tied with Williams’ Logan Sargeant for the most DNFs (seven), Ocon said: “Not the happiest with the season, that’s clear. We’ve had some very good things this year. We’ve secured some strong results as a team, Monaco, Zandvoort, all these places were quite strong for the team.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 28: Third placed Esteban Ocon of France and Alpine celebrates on the

Ocon finished third in Monaco but would have liked more consistency from Alpine

“Unfortunately, not consistent enough and too many DNFs which has cost us obviously a lot this season. We could have probably been in the top-10 in the drivers’ championship, probably closer as well to the other place in the constructors’, but that’s how it is.

“We keep on working and I’m pretty sure good things will come. I trust that team to do a good job over the winter, everyone is hungry for more, to keep improving, and that’s what we are aiming for.”

READ MORE: ‘I was almost in tears’ – Ocon reflects on presenting his Deadpool-inspired helmet to Alpine investor Ryan Reynolds

Ocon was speaking after jumping out of the cockpit for the final time this year at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi. Looking back on the day, Ocon said: “It was good. A very interesting day.

“Being able to test things that we were not able to test at the race and throughout the year, it has been a free test in a way. So, that was very, very interesting. Probably the most interesting test that I’ve ever done and some good outcome as well from it.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 28: Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Alpine F1

Ocon feels the post-season test in Abu Dhabi was valuable for Alpine ahead of the 2024 campaign

“I think that’s going to be useful for next year’s car in general. I’m happy with the outcome of today and good to get the data over with Jack [Doohan’s] car as well. We could compare a lot of things and it was as I said, an interesting one. I’m happy to wrap up the year like that.”

Asked how much was learned from the test for this year and for the 2024 campaign, Ocon replied: “They both go together to be honest. It’s a continuity of the regulations. We are trying to keep learning obviously from this year and hopefully bring the good things to next year’s car.

BARRETTO: How a flying lap of Silverstone feels alongside race-winner Esteban Ocon

“That’s the aim, that’s going to be the aim over the winter on the simulator to be able to extract the maximum out of the data that we have just put in there.

“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.”

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