‘It Was Definitely the Right Way’ – Esteban Ocon Reveals How He Turned His Season Around After Early Struggles

Published 01/25/2021, 6:07 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – December 6, 2020 Renault’s Esteban Ocon celebrates on the podium after finishing the race in second place Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu


After sitting out of F1 for a year, Esteban Ocon had a disappointing 2020 season with Renault. The man who was touted to take over from Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes, lost his chance with the Silver Arrows after the Finn displayed enough improvement to keep him in his seat for 2020.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

As a result, Ocon rejoined the grid with the French team last year and had a tough initiation. He was paired with Daniel Ricciardo, and the Australian clearly had the wood on him through the course of the campaign.

Ocon’s driving didn’t suggest he was Mercedes quality. However, significant improvement at the back end of the season and a podium finish should hold him in good stead for 2021.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Why Renault Were Right in Parting Ways With Cyril Abiteboul

6 months ago

Formula One F1. Sakhir Grand Prix. Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain. Renault’s Esteban Ocon celebrates on the podium after finishing in second place. Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

Speaking about the season gone by, Esteban said, “We were experimenting more and more on my side than we were earlier in the year. Early on, I was trying to sort my driving out, and sort everything I was doing on track.

“In the end, I feel that we did that a lot better later in the year, and I was happier with the car. I was the happiest with the car in Bahrain 1 than I was the whole season. I think we were touching with the finger on something, and it was definitely the right way and the right progression.”

Esteban Ocon opens up on his difficulty in adapting to a new team

The Frenchman found adjusting to a new car quite challenging. Ocon hadn’t driven a Renault powered car in F1 before. Up until then, he had familiarized himself with the Mercedes power unit, having spent 2018 with the Mercedes-powered Force India and while testing the Mercedes car itself in 2019.

Formula One F1. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Renault’s Esteban Ocon during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/Pool
DIVE DEEPER

Wolff: Mercedes ‘Never Played’ Russell Card in Lewis Hamilton F1 Contract Talks

6 months ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Elaborating on his challenges, he said, “Overall the car doesn’t work the same as the Mercedes does, like I drove in testing, or the Force India.

“You don’t take the corner the same way, it’s a little bit different. The way of approaching and the way of tuning the car, it’s not the same. So I’ve had to relearn stuff.”

The 24-year-old will be paired with an even more challenging competitor this year in Fernando Alonso. The two-time world champion is known to make life difficult for his teammate.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

How will Ocon cope with that? Will he show fans this year just why he was so highly thought of by Mercedes? We’ll find out soon.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ronan Carvalho

1063 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT