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F1 | Abu Dhabi GP | Ocon: “The aim is to score points and we want to finish the season as strong as possible”

After securing 9th place in the final qualifying session of the season in Abu Dhabi, Esteban Ocon feels happy with his top 10 result, while Executive Director at Alpine Marcin Budkowsk expressed disappointment over the lack of race pace.

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F1 | Abu Dhabi GP | Ocon: “The aim is to score points and we want to finish the season as strong as possible”
Fuente imagen: https://cdn.motorlat.com/filemanager/source/galerias/f1/2021/23/QUALY/abu_dhabi_gp_qualy__motorlat_hasan_bratic_2464.jpg

It was a mix of positive feelings with some frustration for the Alpine team as they wrap up their final qualifying session of 2021 in Abu Dhabi. As Esteban Ocon ended the second practice on a high in P2, he dropped to 12th in FP3. The French driver however managed to improve and put in solid time during Q3 placing him in the top 10 in 9th for the Abu Dhabi GP.

After the challenging qualifying session, Ocon felt content with the improvements the team made for each run and said they were able to maximize the car’s performance.  

“I think we maximized the potential of the car today. Being in the top 10, starting P9, it’s a very decent result so we can be happy with that,”  Ocon replied.

“A little improvement each run not huge improvements but small ones and hopefully we can score points.”

Ocon also expressed his happiness in Q3 calling it a “positive day” and reiterated how the team pushed through every run during qualifying leaving nothing on the table.    

“I think it’s positive today. I’m happy to be in Q3 again in ninth place, which was probably the maximum we could achieve. Everything was there, we were improving run by run, little bits at a time, so there was not much more left.”

Ending the season with a top 10 qualifying result puts Ocon in a good position to have ample opportunities to push hard on the starting grid for the final race of the year. The Alpine driver remains focused on the main goal, to secure as many points as possible and finish the season off strong.    

“Overall, it’s positive to be in the top ten for tomorrow’s race and happy to end the year – from a qualifying perspective – with this performance. We chose to start on Softs for tomorrow, and I’m sure there’ll be some opportunities ahead. As always, the aim is to score points and we want to finish the season as strong as possible” Ocon stated.

Marcin Budkowski, Executive Director at Alpine conveyed his disappointment and frustration with both Ocon and teammate Fernando Alonso’s qualifying results. With solid results at the start of the race weekend, Budkowski that strong rase pace from the previous practice results would carry over into the qualifying session.   

“It was a very close qualifying today with different tyre strategies between teams and lots of traffic to manage. We are a bit disappointed with ninth and eleventh today, especially given the pace we showed yesterday. The drivers were less happy with the car in Free Practice 3 earlier in the afternoon but we were hoping that with a cooler track they would find better grip again," explained Budkowski.

“Fernando was improving in his last attempt in Q2 but met Daniel (Ricciardo) in the last corner and that compromised his lap, missing Q3 by a mere 0.012secs.”

“Esteban qualified in ninth after a very well executed qualifying and extracted all he could from a slightly compromised car. Today’s result puts us in a decent position for tomorrow’s race. Esteban will start with Soft tyres and Fernando has free choice of tyres. It’s all to be played for and points will be there for the taking.”

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