Ocon happy with Alpine’s rate of improvement

After another impressive practice performance, Alpine Formula 1 driver, Esteban Ocon has said that he is happy with the steps forward that the team are making.

The Enstone-based team had a cautious start to the season, ending the first race of the year down the pecking order, but things appeared to improve significantly last weekend at Portimão before taking another step forward in Friday free practice at Barcelona.

Both cars were well inside the top-ten in second free practice, with Ocon fourth and teammate Fernando Alonso less than a tenth behind in sixth, and the French driver was pleased with the changes the team made between FP1 and FP2.

“As a team, we made a good step from FP1 to FP2 and I felt that in the car,” commented Ocon.

“The aim is to repeat that in FP3 and make another step in performance. It was a busy two sessions, lots of things tried on both cars and that gives us a lot to analyse to find more speed.”

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Alpine appeared to be very tightly matched with Ferrari on Friday afternoon, but Ocon still believes there is more time to be gained on Saturday, especially at the newly designed Turn 10.

“It’s always tricky in Barcelona with the grip and tyre usage so there’s lots for us to learn and understand.” he added.

“I think the new Turn 10 was interesting and, on our side, we have room for improvement there.”

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Ocon’s teammate, Alonso, was also pleased with how the day went and believes that the updates the team brought have provided good data for the team to analyse tonight.

“Over the two sessions we concentrated on some small upgrades that we brought to the car this weekend and then collected some good information about the tyres and our car set-up,” said Alonso after practice.

“Overall, I am pleased with our two sessions and I think the car balance feels good, so it gives me confidence for tomorrow. Let’s see where we are for qualifying.”