Monday, May 27, 2024

Esteban Ocon: “We know that perhaps we did not maximise our opportunities today in Montréal”

BWT Alpine F1 Team’s Esteban Ocon was pleased to take another points finish at the Canadian Grand Prix with an eighth place result, but felt that the team weren’t able to “maximise” their position in the race. 

Ocon, who started in sixth, lost out on places from the strategy front, with one-stop runners including both Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Sergio Pérez and Alex Albon making major strides in the field. Ocon said that their pace that he had was solid, but not quite enough to counter-attack in the end. 

“I think we can be satisfied with finishing another race in the points but we know that perhaps we did not maximise our opportunities today in Montréal. Our car and our pace was strong but, in the end, it was not enough to pass Alex [Albon] in the Williams, who was quicker on the straights.”

Ocon said that the team will debrief their time in Montréal and look into how to better capitalise on their qualifying performances on race day, and that he is excited to bring all he’s learned in Canada to the Austrian Grand Prix next time out. 

“We’ll review everything as a team as to how we can improve and also how we can better seize opportunities on Sundays. Our pace in Qualifying has been good and we must continue that. 

“I did enjoy the battles with Valtteri [Bottas] and Lando [Norris]; that was good fun! Overall, we have a lot to learn after a challenging weekend and I’m already looking forward to Austria in two weeks’ time.”

“We couldn’t quite put ourselves into the points.” – Pierre Gasly

Team-mate Pierre Gasly was unable to recover points in Canada after his unfortunate Q1 elimination on Saturday due to being impeded on track. Having started in fifteenth, he was only able to achieve twelfth place– which he said is evidence of the “importance of track position” on race day. 

“Unfortunately, we were unable to come away with points from today’s race. It again shows the importance of track position and I think our weekend was damaged by what happened in Qualifying yesterday by exiting in Q1.”

Gasly took first pit stop on lap eleven, just one lap before the safety car was brought out and several drivers took advantage of a cheaper stop– majorly impacting his chances of reaching the points. Gasly felt that the car was performing well, and was disappointed to not be able to showcase that from the points positions. 

“We had very good pace in the car today, which we were not able to demonstrate further up the grid and in the positions that matter. We were a little unfortunate with the timing of the first Safety Car but even so, we had a decent race in terms of pace.”

The French driver is already turning his focus to Austria for a fresh start, and hopes to pick up several points across the sprint schedule at the Red Bull Ring

“I gave it my all at the end, overtaking was difficult, and we couldn’t quite put ourselves into the points. I’m already looking ahead to Austria where we must be on it from the start of the weekend and come away with points both in the Sprint and in the main Race.”

Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team