Alpine have brought two major upgrades to their car in recent races, introducing an extensive package of upgrades in Silverstone at the British Grand Prix, an event in which Alonso netted a P5 finish for the team. Unfortunately Ocon suffered a fuel pump issue which forced him to retire late in the Grand Prix.
The Enstone-based team followed up quickly with a revised rear wing last time out at the Austrian Grand Prix, in which Ocon finished P5 and Fernando Alonso put in a stellar recovery drive from the back of the grid to finish P10.
Alpine’s new found pace leaves them level with McLaren in the constructors’ championship, but Esteban Ocon, ever the optimist, is aiming for the team to challenge Mercedes once further upgrades are added to the car.
"It's very positive, and very happy to see that the one that we brought in Silverstone made quite a difference," said Ocon following the Austrian GP.
"We can really see it now. And yeah, I hope the next ones are going to be as big. We still have work to do to be able to perform against the Mercedes, because they are still too fast.
"So if they can, if the team can bring more of this stuff, we will take it."
Despite his positive attitude towards the cars performance, Ocon was still quick to acknowledge that the team is still working to ensure the car will be as competitive at all types of venues, as they continue to further understand the car.
"We still have a bit of work to do on the consistency side," he said. "There were times that I felt we didn't necessarily have the pace that the car could deliver. But this weekend has been perfect on that side.
"So there's still some learning curve for us to do to consistently perform at that level. But clearly this weekend, it was one where we optimised everything."
When quizzed on the team’s recent run of reliability issues, Ocon’s Silverstone retirement as well as Alonso’s DNS during the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race, Ocon says he trusts his team and believes the reliability of the car will improve with time.
"I trust my team, obviously," he said. "But I mean, the team is aware that these are issues that we can't have, to be scoring good points. But in the end, the car is having performance.
"And it was always the plan, we wanted a car which can perform, can deliver good results. And the reliability will come, the more we go through the races."
Encouragingly, team boss Otmar Szafnauer says Alpine’s goal is to continue to upgrade and add performance to their car until they reach the constraints of the budget cap.
"Yeah, very encouraging," Szafnauer of the updated car. "We said at the beginning of this year that this is what this year is about.
"The learning curve in the tunnel is still really steep, so you've got to take advantage of that, keep putting performance on the car. So, we will continue to do that until we run out of money."