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Ocon says impact of new engineering team has been ‘massive’

Esteban Ocon has credited a duo of new engineers at Alpine for his ongoing development as a driver and strong start to his 2021 campaign in F1.

Ocon has scored points in all races so far this season except at the opening round in Bahrain, and in the process the French driver has outperformed teammate Fernando Alonso.

Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski believes that Ocon has “significantly improved” as a driver this year, pointing to the latter’s strong working relationship with new race engineer Josh Peckett as a reason for his progress.

In Monaco, Ocon agreed that Peckett has played a “massive role” on his side of the garage this season, along with his performance engineer Stuart Barlow.

©Alpine

“They’ve been basically forming that duo back in the Manor days as well,” Ocon told Motorsport.com, referencing the team with which he launched his career in F1 in 2016.

“We were working kind of together. They were on Pascal Wehrlein’s side back in the day, but they are complementing each other.

“We are making an excellent team altogether, which is motivated, young, and hungry for the same aim as we have, which is performing, extracting, and doing the best we can with what we have in hands.

“I am very pleased of what we are building at the moment, because this is what I wanted for a long time.”

Ocon struggled during his early days with Renault/Alpine in 2020, with improvements coming to the fore in the latter part of the season when he enjoyed a breakthrough podium at the Sakhir Grand Prix.

    Read also – Alpine: Monaco setback a ‘glitch’ in team’s progression

Since then, Ocon has been steadily building his momentum and confidence.

“I feel like we are setting up the car a lot better, and I’ve gained a huge amount of performance with that,” Ocon said.

“But we started to get that into the last events last year. And I outqualified Daniel [Ricciardo] in Abu Dhabi, also. So it started to come on the right way towards the end of the year with the podium.

“It started to be quite nice towards the end of year, but we’ve continued that for the winter, and we’ve continued that overall in the beginning of the year.

“It’s working well at the moment. So I feel good at the moment. I think we’re extracting close to the maximum of the car each weekend. And I want to continue like that.”

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