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Formula 1 Monaco GP

Ocon: Alpine must ‘keep feet on the ground’ after Monaco F1 podium

Alpine Formula 1 driver Esteban Ocon says the team must “keep our feet to the ground” after scoring third in the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix to arrest its poor form.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team A523

Ocon was fourth fastest in qualifying in the principality, lapping 0.188s shy of polesitter Max Verstappen. He then inherited a place when Charles Leclerc was penalised for blocking Lando Norris.

In the race, 2021 Hungarian GP winner Ocon held on against Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton during a rain-hit final stint to score his first podium of the season aboard the upgraded A523 machine. Team-mate Pierre Gasly, meanwhile was classified seventh.

The headline result arrived after Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi set up an interview with French media during the Miami weekend to label his team as “amateurish” at times.

Prior to Monaco, the squad’s best result had been eighth while Ocon and Gasly notably wiped each other out late on in Australia to deny a double-points finish. Throughout the Monaco weekend, Ocon was reluctant to tackle Rossi’s comments head-on.

Asked for his reply again following the third-place result, he said: “Everyone’s delighted. Formula 1 is unpredictable. You don’t know what’s going to happen.

“At the moment, how tight the field is, a bit more pace can change your weekend completely. This weekend has been an awesome one, awesome preparation.

“As I keep saying, we keep pushing. We don’t stop believing. Hopefully, that’s the first podium of many.”

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team celebrates his third position with Pierre Gasly, Alpine F1 Team, Laurent Rossi, Alpine Chief Executive Officer and the team

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team celebrates his third position with Pierre Gasly, Alpine F1 Team, Laurent Rossi, Alpine Chief Executive Officer and the team

Photo by: Alpine

The lofty result was predicated on Alpine debuting a revised suspension configuration, tweaked floor design and new sidepod inlets for the Monaco weekend.

Asked if these upgrades marked a turning point for the year, Ocon said the team had to be careful to “keep our feet to the ground” and wait to see its form across this weekend’s Spanish GP.

He said: “It’s a very different track in terms of characteristics here. But clearly, the car felt more alive and I had a lot more confidence in it to start the weekend.

“We did bring some updates. They were supposed to be quite small but everything we had goes in the right direction. It definitely felt good and I hope this is the start of something.

“We need to keep our feet to the ground and see where we are next week. It’s going to be a good test.”

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