Alpine can fight F1’s top teams now - Ocon

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Alpine can fight F1’s top teams now - Ocon

Formula 1

Alpine can fight F1’s top teams now - Ocon

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Esteban Ocon believes Alpine has shown it can join the fight at the front with Mercedes and Red Bull in 2022.

Alpine finished the 2021 season fifth in the constructors’ championship with some standout results including Ocon’s victory in Hungary and Fernando Alonso’s podium in Qatar. With Alpine taking its opportunities for big scores, Ocon says it has shown that it can handle the pressure at the front and execute races from a teamwork point of view, and now just needs a winning car.

“We knew we didn’t have the fastest car, we didn’t have the fastest package overall to be fighting at the front,” Ocon said. “But as soon as there was an opportunity we were there to be able to take them — Qatar, Saudi, Budapest, almost Sochi for Fernando…

“We wanted to operationally be on top of our game and we’ve done so (in 2021) and I think we can be proud of that because that means when we’re going to have a fast car we can be fighting up there with the top cars and the top teams without being afraid.”

Ocon admits he also takes some more confidence from being able to call himself a grand prix winner, but says he didn’t change his approach either side of the victory in Budapest.

“For sure it’s a great feeling and I’m also glad that we’ve got that out of the way, also for the team. Obviously it is the first time since the Renault comeback in the new era of Formula 1, so next time — hopefully soon — that we’ll be in that position we know how it feels and we don’t have as much pressure. We can just do our job and make it happen.

“But in my case I’m still working the same way as I did. The guys that I have around me were of course really pleased with having that win, it’s the first one for many of them, but we want to have more of those moments. We know we have a long way and a lot of hard work coming up, but it feels good and I’m proud to have lived that with them, with such a talented bunch of people.”

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