Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Esteban Ocon Eyeing Up Strong Canadian GP Performance

Esteban Ocon is hoping he can match his sixth-place finish at the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve last season, at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The Frenchman heads to Montreal in very good form, having finished eighth at the Spanish Grand Prix and an astonishing third in Monaco. The BWT Alpine F1 Team driver is actually on a three-race points scoring streak, something he should have high hopes of extending this weekend. Alpine and Ocon have both shown great pace over recent rounds, suggesting that a top-eight at the very least should be achievable in Canada.

This weekend’s venue is one which Ocon is a fan of, due to the constant changing of direction through the majority of the corners. Overtaking is also very much possible in Canada, something which Ocon expects to make this weekend’s Grand Prix an “entertaining” one.

“It’s a great track and I really enjoy driving there. Most corners in Montréal come as a double change of direction, which requires good responsiveness from the car, so set-up is very important.

“There are also the walls which make it exciting to drive and keeps us on our toes. The track surface in Montreal is usually quite smooth but tyre degradation in the race is normally relatively high as we use the softest compound of tyres. Combined with the stop-and-go nature of the track, this improves the chances of overtaking which can make it an entertaining Grand Prix. We were sixth here last year so we will look to match or improve that this time around!”

“The weather does look interesting” – Pierre Gasly

Like his team-mate, Pierre Gasly is a fan of the classic Canadian circuit, which first featured on the Formula 1 calendar back in 1978.

Gasly has spent time following Barcelona in the simulator in preparations for this weekend, where he’ll be hoping to avoid another grid penalty. Gasly would’ve started fourth in Spain but was demoted to tenth, following two separate three-place grid penalties for impeding. Based on his original position, the French driver clearly has pace in this season’s Alpine, something he’ll be hoping to exploit in Canada.

However, for the fourth Grand Prix in a row, rain is forecasted. The weather looks set to add another challenge to what is already a tricky track to master, with Gasly noting that Alpine will “remain ready for all conditions”.

After racing on a more conventional circuit in Barcelona last time out we’re back to a street track in Montréal. It’s a really cool place to race, very fast with big braking zones and quick corners. I’ve been preparing in the simulator in Enstone, everything feels good and I’m looking forward to being on track on Friday.

“The weather does look interesting – rain is likely – so we’ll remain ready for all conditions and see what we can achieve. In addition, Montréal in general is a very fun place to be, especially as it’s a French-speaking city. As a result the support there is always exceptional and I’m looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere.”

Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team