Esteban Ocon claims it’s “now or never” for Alpine to push and take advantage of the new regulations, with both he and Fernando Alonso spending the build-up to Christmas in the factory preparing for 2022.
The Frenchman took his first victory for Alpine in the Hungarian Grand Prix, and alongside Fernando Alonso helped the team secure fifth in the constructors’ championship this season. Now, the former Renault outfit has targeted 2022 as a chance to fight with the frontrunners in Formula 1.
For Ocon, that means he will be spending time in the factory regularly either side of Christmas, as the team doesn’t want to miss such a big opportunity to make gains.
“Not really, no!” Ocon said when asked if he would get much time off over the winter. “We are in Enstone – me and Fernando – 21st and 22nd of December, we are back in the factory 4th and 5th of January.
“We know we have something to play for next year, we know that it’s now that we have to push, now or never, and we are all hungry for more. We want to get the results, we want to catch the top teams, and that’s the only way we’re going to do so. So not really any break, there will be a couple of days of course for Christmas and New Year but that’s about it.”
Additionally, Ocon is motivated to do the work due the progress shown by Alpine in 2021, and the way the team responded to the highs and lows of the past year.
“I’m pretty pleased with how the season has gone. Obviously it’s a season that I will remember forever. My first win, the first win for Groupe Renault as well since coming back to Formula 1, it’s extra-special, for sure. So on that note it will always be a mega year, 2021, we will always remember.”