Esteban Ocon secured his first points finish of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season with an eighth-place finish in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with the Frenchman believing that it was the best possible outcome for the BWT Alpine F1 Team at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
After a penalty filled Bahrain Grand Prix, Ocon was able to show more of his and the A523’s potential in Saudi Arabia, and he was a genuine top ten contender throughout the fifty-lap race.
Ocon feels there is a lot of potential within the car that they have yet to unlock, and with their ambitions to fight higher up the grid, it will be important to learn more about the car quickly if they are to drag themselves into the battle for the podium places.
“Overall, I would say it’s been a reasonable race for the team,” said Ocon. “The final result reflects our performance in the race and eighth place is the maximum we could have achieved today.
“Having both cars in the points is definitely positive, especially after Bahrain, but we must not be completely satisfied with where we are at the moment. Our car has potential and we will continue learning and building to catch up to our competitors.
“We want to challenge for positions higher up the grid, and we will keep working hard to do that. We will debrief on this weekend and our attention will quickly turn to Australia where we’ll aim for more.”
“We’re learning things each time we get in the car” – Pierre Gasly
Team-mate Pierre Gasly followed Ocon home in ninth for his second consecutive top ten finish for his new team, and the Frenchman also reckoned their respective finishing positions reflected the best possible result for the team.
Gasly believes that there is still more to come from his side of the garage, particularly when it comes to Qualifying, with better positions on the grid likely to make it a more straightforward race for him rather than fighting through the field as he has done in the opening two events.
“It’s definitely satisfying to make it two points finishes from my first two races with the team,” said Gasly. “I think finishing in eighth and ninth was the best we could achieve today, though.
“We’re making positive steps; we’re learning things each time we get in the car and we must continue to apply that knowledge to keep improving the overall package. On my side, there’s more to come, especially in extracting the maximum in Qualifying, which will allow us better track position for the Race.
“I’m looking forward to debriefing with the team, continuing my learning and going again in Australia where we want to show further improvements.”