Esteban Ocon, Alpine, 2024

Ocon warns Alpine could have “tricky” start with “very aggressive” new car

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Esteban Ocon says he expects Alpine may have a “tricky” start to the new season with their heavily revised new A524.

Alpine became the latest team to launch their 2024 car today at their Enstone factory.

The team fell from fourth in the championship in 2022 to sixth last season, prompting a team owners Renault to make significant changes to the team’s leadership ahead of the summer break.

Ocon says the team’s new car for 2024 is a major departure from last season, but admits it could take time for Alpine to get the most out of.

“We have to be humble,” Ocon told media including RaceFans today.

“Obviously, it’s a very aggressive concept that we are going into. Taking a new car and changing completely the approach because we thought we were maximising the old concept. But this year it’s about understanding early on where we are exactly, who’s where, who have improved more.

“It doesn’t really matter where we start, and there is a scenario where it could be tricky where we start, but the importance is going to be what we are in place. To bring the updates, understand the car and get it to where it should be, because that should be a better concept, definitely, with what we have what we decided to take. So I can’t wait to be on track, understand and hopefully get a good feeling driving it, being happy with the balance and have that smile that I had with many cars in Enstone.”

Changing the car’s fundamental concept for 2024 means that gathering early data on the car will be critical for them to be able to make the best of it.

“If we decided to take that concept, it means there’s more potential than the other one,” he explained. “Early on in Bahrain it’s going to be crucial to get the right feedback straight away to the team, analyse and get ready for the first couple of races. We need to see a bit more long-term here more than straightaway short term because it’s like a brand new car.”

Ocon insists that the team are encouraged by how the car has performed in simulator testing, but he wants to translate that into real life performance.

“I look forward to seeing exactly how that car feels,” he said.

“We’ve been testing it in the simulator, we trust our numbers, but you want to validate that going on the track. So testing that, feeling that, is going to be a big thing for us.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
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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5 comments on “Ocon warns Alpine could have “tricky” start with “very aggressive” new car”

  1. is it just me or is “aggressive design” the latest meaningless buzzword?

    1. Have quite the same feeling

    2. No, it means that the designers are actually really scared to look at this car, and I can see why.

    3. Yep. Seems to mean “we changed lots of things.” and that’s about it.

      Be interesting to see how it performs on the track and whether it correlates to their simulator or not. I’m sure Mercedes car last year was brilliant in the simulator too.

  2. Well, they had a less “agressive design” last time and also had a pretty rough ride. Would be nice to see this team getting their act somewhat together and actually show progress over the season. McLaren showed us what that can look like last year. I’ll be happy to see this team try and do something similar, but so far I’ve not seen much that points to their ability (both the team AND the drivers) to do that.

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