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Ocon: British GP upgrades should boost Alpine's F1 form

Esteban Ocon hopes the latest batch of upgrades from the Alpine Formula 1 team will give the team a boost heading into the British Grand Prix.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A522, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A522, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Like most teams, Alpine brought updates to the Spanish GP last month, including a high downforce rear wing, new front endplates and revised rear brake drum winglets.

For the Azerbaijan round the team had revised sidepods and low drag front and rear wings, while for Montreal it had a more efficient beam wing.

However, while some rivals have backed off on bringing new parts to the track with an eye on staying within the cost cap, Alpine is pushing ahead and will have a substantial package for Silverstone.

"We have quite a bit of upgrades normally coming so there should be a good step for us,” said Ocon.

“So yeah, big hopes, it's going to be a big week, starting from Tuesday for us [in the simulator], so a lot of work going ahead. And yeah, hopefully we can perform well, because the car is where it should be."

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Photo by: Patrick Vinet / Motorsport Images

Alpine currently lies fifth in the world championship, just eight points behind McLaren. The gap has closed in recent weeks, with Alpine outscoring the Woking-based team by 35 points to 19 over the last five races.

In Montreal, Fernando Alonso did a superb job to qualify second on a wet but drying track, although in the race he slipped back to seventh, a place behind Ocon, before receiving a penalty.

Ocon says he’s pleased to see his team continue to develop the car, and he believes that Alpine has made more progress than some rivals.

"It is very encouraging,” said Ocon when asked by Autosport about the ongoing development push. “And the team is pushing forward a lot and getting their upgrades early, and not when they were planned.

“And, it's delivering, it's going in the right direction. And I think since the beginning of the year, we have improved more than a lot of other teams. So yeah, we can be satisfied, and it's going in the right direction."

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Asked if Alpine can potentially challenge Mercedes at some venues, Ocon conceded that it isn’t likely just yet.

"We're not there. I got overtaken by both of them [in Montreal]. So we're still a long way off. But yeah, that's the aim. Yes, they are the next on the list."

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