Ocon spurred on by reunion with “young, hungry” engineers from Manor days

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In the round-up: Esteban Ocon says his new race engineering line-up is “what I wanted for a long time” in Formula 1.

In brief

Ocon reunited with Peckett and Barlow

Following his strong start to the 2021 F1 season, Ocon credited his relationship with race engineer Josh Peckett and performance engineer Stuart Barlow, both of which worked at Manor where Ocon made his debut five years ago.

“They’ve been basically forming that duo back in the Manor days as well,” Ocon explained “So we were working kind of together. They were on Pascal Wehrlein’s side back in the days.

“But they are completing each other, and we are making an excellent team all together who’s motivated, young, hungry for for the same aim as we have, which is performing, extracting, doing the best we can with what we have in hand. I’m very pleased of what we are building at the moment because this is what I wanted for a long time.”

Palou avoiding thoughts of title bid

Alex Palou, Ganassi, Indianapolis 500, IndyCar, 2021
Palou has a 36-point lead in the IndyCar standings
Finishing second in a race which pays double points has propelled Alex Palou into the lead of the IndyCar championship going into the Detroit Grand Prix double-header in two weeks’ time. But Palou said he’s “not thinking about that too much” at this stage of the season.

“I think when you start thinking about the championship, if you’re not executing on track, there’s no point. We just try to [take it] session by session as we’ve been doing.

“If we keep doing what we’ve been doing everywhere, I think we’ll be able to fight until the end for this championship. I think we’ve been able to get a lot of points in our, let’s say, weaker places like Texas and here. Super proud about that.”

Montoya says top five was possible for McLaren SP

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya reckons he could have finished in the top five in Sunday’s race after fighting his way up from 24th starting position to finish ninth.

“We had great strategy and a great race car,” said Montoya of his first appearance in the race for four years. “It’s a shame, we were ahead of Simon [Pagenaud] most of the day, and he finished third. We definitely had the car to be in the top five.”

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Comment of the day

This Daniel Ricciardo fan isn’t begrudging his new team mate Lando Norris his success:

Really became a fan of Lando during last year’s lockdowns, and of course helping the team tear down the car.

Thing I like about him is that it’s real, or maybe it’s really good acting but it doesn’t seem like it. When other drivers say they’re trying to integrate themselves into a team, you know, discussions at the factory and all that, it seems pale in comparison to the way Lando has done it. The early contract extension says a lot, having that faith in his team.

Really wish him all the best, I genuinely mean that even as a Ricciardo fan. It’s going to be tough to watch if they get real competitive over the next couple years.
Tristan (@Skipgamer)

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On this day in F1

  • 35 years ago today Hans Stuck, Derek Bell and Al Holbert won the Le Mans 24 Hours for Porsche, but Jo Gartner was killed in a crash during the race on Sunday morning

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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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7 comments on “Ocon spurred on by reunion with “young, hungry” engineers from Manor days”

  1. RE: COTD

    Lando seems like a genuinely nice guy, no pretence at all. I think it may a lot more easier for a young driver who grew up the team to be integrated with the crew as he has. It would look weird if say Sergio Perez was seen dismantling a front wing and packing it away at the end of a race weekend.

    As Lando’s star grows, as much as it’s a great sentiment, I doubt we will be able to be just “one of the guys”.

  2. I’m really please to see Ocon doing well. I rated him pretty highly after watching him in Singapore in the Manor as he seemed to be driving really smoothly compared to his teammate and the times were reflecting that.

    Having that year out, through no real fault of his own certainly set him back, but he’s now gotten himself back on track and is holding his own against Alonso which is no mean feat.

    I terms of young drivers, F1 is well and truly in a great state and I can see some major battles between all of them over the next few years.

    1. Back then he was known for finishing 2nd so many times in GP3 and then having a long streak of finishing races from his debut until Brazil 2017. With two close calls too.

    2. @dbradock He’s really impressing ATM. I thought he was lost after the year off, but has been patiently plugging away. Building a team around him too. Matching Ricciardo and now outdoing Alonso is no mean feat. But boy is he skinny. Practically anorexic. I guess it speaks about his dedication.

  3. Looking forward to Coulthard’s insight into his cars, he transcends a huge portion of F1, was that 95′ Williams better than the Benetton? CFT / 93′ Williams, Kimi, Mika, so much more. As much as I find he states the obvious almost constantly when doing punditry. Re-watching the 90’s-00’s McLaren years during lockdown, I forgot how close he was to Mika and Michael, reliability and a little bit of inconsistency meant he wasn’t there come the last few rounds, but he by and large kept them honest.

  4. So Peckett and Barlow joined Team Enstone post-2016 by when Ocon joined the team or after that.

    I fully agree with the COTD. Lando has helped in the entire garage dismantle in general. He indeed means what he says more than others.

  5. MaddMe (@)
    1st June 2021, 8:53

    COTD – Lando really does come across as a decent grounded person. His passion is racing and it comes across in everything he does from his television interviews and into his YouTube/twitch videos.

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