Ocon: Alpine has "no margin" in battle for F1 points 

Esteban Ocon thinks his Alpine team doesn't have any "margin" for error if it wants to score points in the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Ocon: Alpine has "no margin" in battle for F1 points 
Listen to this article

The team previously known as Renault endured a tough season-opening Bahrain GP, with Fernando Alonso retiring and teammate Ocon finishing down in a disappointing 13th position.

It was the first time since last year's Spanish GP that neither of the Enstone team's cars finished in the points.

Ocon's race chances at Sakhir were compromised by starting from 16th on the grid after he was unable to complete his final flying lap when he encountered yellow flags for an incident involving Carlos Sainz.

With an extremely close fight in the midfield, Ocon believes Alpine needs to get everything right in order to be in the top 10.

"It is clear that what hurt us is the starting position," said Ocon. "If we were starting inside the top 10, of course you are already inside the points, but even 11th or 12th there would have been a chance for us to get into the points.

"We don't have any margin and we need to extract the maximum out of the car to be able to do that.

"We have clear ways of seeing where we are lacking a little bit of performance or where we have an area to improve. We know where it is, it is up to us to find that and find more pace for the next events so that gives us a bit more of a margin."

Read Also:

While Ocon has hailed the 2021 Renault engine as the best he's driven in Formula 1, the Frenchman acknowledges Alpine still needs to recover some of the chassis performance lost through the regulation changes.

He says, however, that his team has already pinpointed the key areas where it needs to improve.

"Of course the new rules have changed a lot of things," he added. "As everybody says, it is a year that we keep the same rules and carry-over from last year, but this is not the reality.

"In fact, most of the car is new for everybody. For us for sure as we know what we have on the car. Everybody lost a good amount of grip and downforce and everybody is trying to get that back on the cars.

"At the moment with the new rules everybody is slower and we are as well compared to the car we had last year so we know where to find the time and we know where to recover that laptime.

"The part of spotting where it is, that is now done, now we have to do it."

shares
comments

Related video

Haas "won't put effort" into anything beyond fighting Williams
Previous article

Haas "won't put effort" into anything beyond fighting Williams

Next article

Wolff: Nobody foresaw hostility between Hamilton and Rosberg

Wolff: Nobody foresaw hostility between Hamilton and Rosberg
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022