Ocon excited about working with Alonso: “Learn a lot”

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For the 2021 season, Esteban Ocon at Alpine had Fernando Alonso on his side. The Spanish driver is known for not always being the easiest person to work with. In addition, the former champion has a reputation for breaking teammates rather than building them up. “This is something I wanted to see with my own eyes. See if what people were saying was true,” says Ocon, who eventually discovered a completely different person. “This was not the case, in fact… our collaboration was fantastic. He is a tough racer and perhaps the fastest team-mate I’ve had in ages. I learned a lot from him. Fernando thinks out of the box -box. He thinks of things that other drivers wouldn’t think of.”

With the experience Alonso possesses, Ocon has mainly looked at how the Spaniard builds up and approaches his races. “In terms of strategy, he is looking for the limit and is constantly optimizing it. I have learned a lot from him in that area,” continues the Frenchman. “Also from his racing craft I learned a lot. For example, I watched his first few laps, which I did all the time, by the way. At the end of the season I was only gaining positions myself and not losing. My openings in the matches have improved a lot.”

334 Grands Prix starts, 32 wins, 98 podiums and 22 pole positions. Alonso has already put in great performances in his long F1 career. “It’s a privilege to work with such a legend,” said Ocon. “At the beginning of the year he was my reference. I was happy to see that our pace was comparable. We pushed each other to the maximum and also gave the team the maximum”, continues the winner of the Hungarian Grand Prix. “Our driving style is different. However, the feedback we gave was quite the same. If the pace in qualifying was quite close, we gave the same feedback. In the end, the difference between the cars was not very big. For example, it differed by half percent or percent in the position of a flap on the front wing. That’s all. Some lanes were better for his driving style, but I sometimes benefited from my neat style again. That allowed me to handle the tires a bit better. At times I also experimented “I didn’t close my eyes to what Fernando was doing. In terms of set-up, driving style and cornering speed, he is probably the teammate I match the most,” concludes the driver.

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