Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Autodromo do Algarve, 2021

Alpine can now fight “cars that were quicker than us” – Ocon

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Esteban Ocon is encouraged by Alpine’s much-improved pace from last weekend.

In brief

Alpine’s improvements mean they can fight with McLaren, Ferrari

Alpine struggled for pace at the opening two races in Bahrain and Imola, but scored a strong double points finish yesterday.

At the end of the race, both cars were able to fight and finish ahead of the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jnr and Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren, which Ocon said reflected on the scale of their improvement.

“It was a really fun race,” he said. “Definitely good to have some battles with the cars that were quicker than us in the first two races. It definitely feels good to have done such a step in terms of performance.”

Alpine pace too much for Alfa Romeo points hope

A resurgent Alpine was bad news for Alfa Romeo, who remain point-less after yesterdays race. It came as a disappointment to Antonio Giovinazzi after he beat the Aston Martins.

“It was just a clear race from my side,” he said. “I had some fun with Fernando in the beginning and some fun with Sebastian in the end. We started P12, today we were faster than Aston Martin, slower than Alpine. So it was not enough to be in the top 10.”

Tsunoda says respecting track limits had no effect on pace

Yuki Tsunoda was warned about respecting track limits during the Portuguese Grand Prix, his engineer telling him he could not go over at turn one again after two warnings. It was the second track limit warning Tsunoda has had since making his F1 debut, having been also warned in Imola.

Asked by RaceFans what he changed from then on in the race, Tsunoda said it had little effect. “To be honest, not much, I respected the track limits after that and I don’t think it affected the car performance.

“There’s a lot more space to make the car improve, to have more pace, so I don’t think the track limits were affecting it.”

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Comment of the day

Lewis Hamilton took another win today – his 97th in his career – and iCarbs says there’s one obvious way to prevent him taking a 98th: competitors need to replicate Hamilton’s ability to recover from his own errors and capitalise his rivals’:

It’s very, very simple. You have to be near-perfect to stop Hamilton and Mercedes. Yep I expect probably more occasional mistakes from all the drivers, but Red bull have got to capitalise where Mercedes fall down, even if it’s a minor trip.

I don’t really care if Hamilton makes mistakes in all the races, for the rest of the season, in order for Verstappen to be a real contender and a worthy driver to take the mantle from Hamilton, beat him with the best tools you ever been given to take him on.
@icarby

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On this day in F1

  • 40 years ago today Nelson Piquet won the San Marino Grand Prix after the leading Ferraris dropped back on a drying track. Carlos Reutemann took third behind Riccardo Patrese to hold onto the championship lead.

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 10 comments on “Alpine can now fight “cars that were quicker than us” – Ocon”

    1. That comment reminds me of alonso with mclaren early 2018: now we can fight! Too bad it was ocon who said something along those lines now.

    2. Good to see Alpine more competitive this weekend. Although I don’t think it’s a permanent kind of form.. Renault was also peaky last season where they were really strong on particular tracks and nowhere to be found on others. Overall, the team is too inconsistent to make any bold predictions for the whole season.

      They need to get both drivers performing at a top level to maxisimise every opportunity though… Right now Fernando has a lot of improving to do in consistency and quali pace. If it was Fernando of old racing this weekend he would have probably finished in P5 with ease.

    3. Alpine clearly evolved. Bug they are still behind Ferrari and McLaren. They didn’t show that Van keep at same pace that Leclerc and até far from Norris.
      But is great to see Ocon doing a ver good job. Maybe there is hope for 2022.

      1. The other way to look at it is that Ocon didnt do well in first 2 races, and that his teammate is playing catchup at start of season. Alpine has a good car, in second half of race Alonso passed Ricciardo on track, drove away from him and was catching up to the ferraris.

    4. Keep dreaming Ocon. Portimao is not representative for anything

      1. It’s just not easy with Fernando but there’s 20 (or 19) races to come.

    5. Even if Alpine could challenge Mclaren and Ferrari regularly, the points gap is still relatively big.
      I doubt this event’s pace would be permanent for the remaining season, but time will tell.

    6. Where would Ricciardo have finished if he was still in this team? you would expect ahead of Ocon. it is really weird how all highly rated drivers switching teams, Ricciardo, Vettel, Sainz (and Alonso coming back) are a bit behind teammates in the first few races, but it was a very short pre season, though I think Alonso might have turned that around during this race, stellar drive.

    7. Eaeily the least political GP this season, still awful though, at least the race was not cringy, finally a decent race.

    8. But it still won’t be easy with Fernando. Or is it all already foreshadowed?

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