“We Need a Win” – Ocon Says Alpine Want More of 2020 F1 “Feelings”

Published 03/10/2021, 8:15 AM CST
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JULY 19: Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Renault Sport Formula One Team RS20 on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


Alpine have opted to switch up their look and brand for the 2021 F1 season. The French team has built up a lot of momentum over the past few seasons and that culminated in the team finishing fifth in 2020. Alpine driver Esteban Ocon feels they could use that as a platform to build on.

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The Enstone-based team has switched from the black and yellow of Renault to the ocean blue, white, and red color scheme of Alpine. This new look and name are not the only things the team has changed in the offseason.

They have brought in wily 39-year-old Fernando Alonso to replace Daniel Ricciardo, who departed for higher-placed McLaren.

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Ocon likes the chances of Alpine in 2021

In an interview following the launch of the Alpine challenger for 2021, the A521, Ocon was very optimistic that the team can build on their 2020 finish. He said, “Yeah that’s fantastic.

“Best place for sure, finish fourth [fifth] for the team means a lot, means we are improving, the car is getting faster, our understanding is getting better, and the joy of the team was there after the race.”

He feels confident that they can repeat that performance. He said, “I hope we can repeat it, to get the best result for the team, we need a win – that’s another task. We’ll push to do our best and try and get more podiums but for now, let’s see how the car feels”

31 OCON Esteban (fra), Renault F1 Team RS20, action during the Formula 1 Winter Tests at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya on February 19, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

He expects the team to fight for more podiums and, as a result, race victories. He said, “We definitely want to have more of those feelings, that’s for sure. We had three podiums last year, that were good, solid podium finishes for the team.

“Of course we want more of those again, to taste that feeling, but until we put the car down, in Bahrain, we’re not going to know where we stand exactly, so that’s the question.”

Can the French team finish as the best of the rest in 2021?

The French outfit have been very solid during their recent time in F1. Last season’s fifth-place finish was a great sign of progress on the track.

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However, they will want to earn a few more podiums when the opportunity arises. The paucity of podiums in 2020 gave the team a sense that maybe they missed out. What may have galled them, even more, was the fact that McLaren finished ahead of them using Renault’s engines. 

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 02: Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Renault Sport Formula One Team RS20 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Their signing of Alonso may be a little quirky, but that could probably be the small factor that push them towards more podiums and maybe race wins in 2021. They also will only have to worry about themselves as they won’t have a customer team for 2021.

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Let’s hope these factors are the catalyst they need to be the third-best team in the grid.

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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