'Ocon is bonding better with his race engineer'

18-05-2021 19:03 | Updated: 18-05-2021 23:27
by GPblog.com
F1 News
'Ocon is bonding better with his race engineer'

Esteban Ocon is having a great start to the season. He's beaten his teammate Fernando Alonso in every race so far and that's something that hasn't escaped Alpine's Executive Director Marcin Budkowski.

Last year, Ocon returned to the grid after a year of absence. The Frenchman was up against Daniel Ricciardo in 2020. He lost the battle but did come a lot closer at the end of the season. "He improved throughout last year, and he was getting closer and closer to Daniel in qualifying," Budkowski said in conversation with Motorsport.com.

Changes made in 2021

"Confidence is one thing - confidence in the team, confidence in himself. The podium did help," Budkowski continued. Ocon took his first podium finish in Formula 1 at the Sakhir Grand Prix. Budkowski says Ocon has worked hard during the winter period. Something that the whole team noticed during the sessions.

Something that has also helped Ocon's good results is the change of race engineer. In 2020 Mark Slade was the French driver's engineer, but he was replaced by Josh Peckett for 2021. "He's bonding better with his race engineer and his team overall," concludes Budkowski.

Switch to Mercedes?

For Ocon, it could still be an exciting season. Valtteri Bottas is far from certain of his seat at Mercedes for 2022. For a long time, George Russell seemed to have a good chance of winning this seat, but with the good results, Ocon is also interesting for Toto Wolff's team again. The Frenchman is still part of the junior Mercedes team.

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