Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

We expected better admits Ocon as Alpine are only team slower than last year

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by

Esteban Ocon said Alpine expected to be more competitive this weekend following their poor start to the season a week ago.

He and team mate Pierre Gasly failed to progress beyond the first round of qualifying for the second time in as many races. Alpine is the only team in the race which have not lapped the Jeddah Corniche Circuit faster than they managed last year.

Despite that, Ocon said they are in slightly better shape than they were in Bahrain.

“It’s been a difficult session,” he told the official F1 channel after qualifying. “Obviously I’m frustrated to [drop out in Q1] once again.

“We were expecting a little bit better. I think it was a little bit better than Bahrain in general, but we still lacked some pace ultimately and that’s why we are here today.”

Ocon will start today’s race 17th, one place ahead of Gasly. Of the two drivers they out-qualified, one of them, Zhou Guanyu, failed to set a time.

With points unlikely for the team in the race, Ocon said they may have to treat it like a test session.

“We’re going to go to the race fighting like no tomorrow, like always, see what we get out of that race. If it’s just some data that we gather then we will gather it well and keep the work going.”

Gasly said he didn’t expect a better round for the team, which is one of three in the field not to have brought any upgrades this weekend.

“We obviously knew there would not be any big change for the weekend, the car is the same,” he said.

“I think on our side, we did a strong first run. It was a pretty strong lap. On the second lap, unfortunately, I had a massive snap and just no rear grip from the start of the lap. So we’ll have to analyse for next weekend.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Browse all 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix articles

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

7 comments on “We expected better admits Ocon as Alpine are only team slower than last year”

  1. You should not expect better.
    You should ask Dirk de Beer what the hell he was thinking when he “developed” the A524 aerodynamics.

  2. Terrible headline, sounds like they are exactly where they expected to be. Expected a little bit better, were a little bit better but still not enough pace.

    Anyway, good luck to them, they know where they are at, now need to do the work to improve throughout the season. No need to beat them up in the press when their result is exactly as they knew it would be.

    1. A works team being last is definitely something to beat them for. Then “knowing” where they are doesn’t excuse it.

  3. What would be the argument against ditching this car and switching back to last year’s car and further improve it?

    1. This already is is the “improvement of last year’s car”…..the difference is other teams have made more progress with theirs.

      1. I’m sure I’ve already read in another article that were in fact slower this year in Jeddah than last year.
        And on top of that, the car they had at the very end of 2023 was naturally quicker than the one they had in Jeddah 2023.

  4. too many changes and too desperate to move up the field screwed them. Some of the guys they replaced probably couldn’t cope with the expectations their hollywood investors had.

    This is why you don’t let investors dictate your mission. You tell them to take a hike, because they don’t care about how, they only care about how much.

    Also this kind of corrosive dealings are going on all over the planet in board rooms with politburo efficiency. Engineering is not a simple Yes, but these days, the two are so easily confused by people who just want to fill their bank accounts.

Comments are closed.