Ocon and Renault 'touching something' special late in 2020 F1 season

Esteban Ocon feels that he and Renault were "touching something" special by the end of last year, as he made headway on his Formula 1 return

Ocon and Renault 'touching something' special late in 2020 F1 season

The Frenchman took some time to get fully up to speed again after a year away from racing and needing to adjust to the characteristics of Renault's F1 machinery.

After successfully closing down the gap to team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, Ocon took his maiden podium finish with second place at the Sakhir Grand Prix.

Ocon says his improved form at the end of the campaign came as the result of an increased confidence in the car, which allowed him to experiment more with set-up and try things out which delivered gains on track.

"We were experimenting more and more on my side than we were earlier in the year," he explained.

"Early on, I was trying to sort my driving out, and sort everything I was doing on track.

"And unfortunately in Formula 1, you gain more time by working closer with your engineers and working more on the car because, in the end, that's going to give you the confidence. The driving is then going to come with it.

"In the end, I feel that we did that a lot better later in the year, and I was happier with the car. I was the happiest with the car in Bahrain 1 than I was the whole season.

"That's where the car felt very strong. I think we were touching with the finger on something, and it was definitely the right way and the right progression."

Ocon says it was only when he began competing for Renault that he understood the challenge it would be to learn a new car, as there were aspects of his previous time with Force India and Mercedes he had to start again from scratch with.

"Overall the car doesn't work the same as the Mercedes does, like I drove in testing, or the Force India," he added.

"They are not the same and don't have the same characteristics.

"You don't take the corner the same way, it's a little bit different. The way of approaching and the way of tuning the car, it's not the same.

"So I've had to relearn stuff that I thought was already there.

"I thought I was going to come back and do the same way as I was doing in Force India, and, you know, get the car sorted for me. But it's not the case.

"All the cars are different. And, yeah, that is something I've learned: that you need to find the best way, and the best way to set it up to go faster on the lap.

"And clearly, that is something we understood more and more through the year."

shares
comments
The point-less F1 teams of 1991
Previous article

The point-less F1 teams of 1991

Next article

Wolff expects Hamilton to sign new Mercedes F1 deal despite "curveballs"

Wolff expects Hamilton to sign new Mercedes F1 deal despite "curveballs"
Load comments
Explaining the key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Plus

Explaining the key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Plus

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads Plus

Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's historics crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Plus

Why Leclerc's historics crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of “needle” between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage Plus

Why the lack of “needle” between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Plus

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Plus

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but MARK GALLAGHER believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Plus

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells OLEG KARPOV how close Haas came to the abyss

Formula 1
May 14, 2022