I definitely don’t want to start 2021 the way I started 2020 – Ocon

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In the round-up: Esteban Ocon hopes to carry his late-2020 form into the new season.

What they say

Ocon gradually narrowed the gap to team mate Daniel Ricciardo on his return to Formula 1 last year and scored his first podium finish in the penultimate race – progress he intends to build on:

My aim for the ’21 campaign is definitely to start on the level that I finished in 2020, that’s the first thing. And then build on from there. Keep progressing, keep learning things with the team and understanding the car and go from there. Definitely I don’t want to start at the level that I was early in 2020, and build up basically from where I finished.

[The podium] was definitely what we needed, I think, at the time. I think it was great to achieve it at that moment. It’s always the dream of a driver to be on the podium one day. This is what motivates me in the morning, those kind of results, to wake up good training in the simulator and push with all the people around me. This is what I’m pushing for. Those moments are truly the ones that we all want.

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O’Ward quickest in IndyCar Laguna Seca test

Pato O’Ward led IndyCar’s test at Laguna Seca this week for McLaren SP ahead of Coyne pair Ed Jones and Romain Grosjean. Juan Pablo Montoya also appeared for McLaren SP, who he will race for in this year’s Indianapolis 500, and ran an aero rig of the kind usually seen in F1 on one of the team’s Dallara chassis.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

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Comment of the day

F1’s plan for ‘Super-qualifying’ on Saturday raises a few questions:

So, there’s qualifying, which is where you qualify for super qualifying, which is actually a race, but is also the event where you qualify for the big race. Okay, then.

However, here’s my question: Normally, pole position is awarded to the driver who sets the fastest time during qualifying. But does super qualifying (which is actually a race) now mean that one can, hypothetically, win two pole positions during the same race weekend? Or does it mean that one can, hypothetically, win two races during the same race weekend? Will both race wins “count” in the same way in the statistics? Or will super qualifying wins (which are, of course, actually race wins) be counted as their own separate thing?

Aside from not at all being a pointless gimmick, this is also not confusing in the slightest.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “I definitely don’t want to start 2021 the way I started 2020 – Ocon”

  1. COTD very well put! Super qualifying in my books is Lewis in Singapore 2018 or similar!

  2. One pole position, two wins. Whatever the name for the sprint race would be, it’s still a race win.

    Ocon indeed has to do better than he did last year, especially considering that Alonso hasn’t raced in F1 for two seasons.

    An interesting post about Gasly.

    1. That is the main issue with super-qualifying is the idea of it being a race win. I think F1 needs to choose whether qualifying stats go to the Friday qualifying or the Saturday Sprint Race. But it cannot be a second race win, and therefore no points can be awarded for it.

      1. I thought by allegedly naming it ‘super qualifying’ they took away all doubt (and fear), stating as much that it will NOT be considered a race win but just a form of qualifying, @f1frog.
        We’ve had many different kinds of qualifying formats; this is just testing another one*.

        At least in this one they are giving fans what (they say) they want; more full on/out racing.
        Qualifying wasn’t broken, and isn’t the ideal time to test an improvement in racing.
        But it’s much better to tweak qualifying a bit to give that unimpeded racing experience demanded by fans, rather than ruin the Sunday GP race with even more rules. We already have forced tyre choses; resetting races after SC; and the mechanical boost for chasing cars.

        1. Just giving it a different name doesn’t really change a lot, especially when they have not written the rules yet to actually state that there will not be any points awarded for the sprint race. Some of the earlier reports did indicate that Liberty Media were suggesting that points should be awarded for that sprint race, so I would not be surprised if many won’t take those comments at face value and would rather wait and see what is actually stated in the final rules (if they actually get round to writing them before the season starts).

          1. so I would not be surprised if many won’t take those comments at face value and would rather wait and see what is actually stated in the final rules

            Very little ‘wait and see’ of the fans on this site; most seem to have made up their mind long ago.

  3. How tellingly does the CotD author reflect the view of most die-hard fans.
    AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken seems to be a major concern, just like the colour of liveries.

    Liberty should’ve asked the fans to name this qualifying session.
    Or go straight with ‘Quali McQualirace’.

  4. I’ve had an idea for the sprint race-super qualifying-whatever.

    First of all, I prefer the current system (with minor tweaks, but the current one). But if this sprint race is “mandatory” and unavoidable, the lesser evil could be something like that (just my humble opinion):

    What if we design the sprint race just like the current system? After, say, 5 laps, the bottom-5 of the race get knocked out, starting on Sunday at the position they were at “their end” of the race. Further 5 laps gone and 11st-15th get also eliminated. Last 10 laps and the top-10 decide their starting places.

    You can twist this even more: what about recreating something similar to the 2016 system? After every single lap, the last driver is knocked out. You can set different options: 2 by 2, 4 by 4… after every lap, after every other lap, and so forth.

    I think this can also engage with the younger fans, since it kinda resembles the Fortnite elimination method based on deliberated shrinking of the space, some kind of F1 adapted-Battle Royale.

    What do you think?

    Sorry for the English!

  5. How long into the first Super Qualifying Sprint Race do we think it will be before we see the teams ‘retiring’ cars running at the back to save parts/engine mileage I wonder. And would this have a cascading effect up the order as the session progresses?

  6. Re Ocon: Not gonna be easy, but I expect it to be close between him and Fernando.

  7. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
    3rd March 2021, 15:41

    Yesss, my first CotD! Thank you, @keithcollantine.

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