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Ocon wants set-up changes after China F1 sprint as "performance left on the side"

Esteban Ocon expects Alpine to take advantage of Formula 1's new sprint race parc ferme rules in China, citing "performance left on the side" in his Friday set-up.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A524

Photo by: Mark Sutton

The Frenchman was granted Alpine's new floor upgrade initially pencilled in for Miami, as one undertray construction was fast-tracked in time for the Chinese Grand Prix.

This new floor features changes to the diffuser, heavily revised front fences, and a new floor edge wing that includes a slot towards the rear.

Although these changes should yield an uptick in performance, Ocon stated that the overall set-up of his A524 had missed the mark to break into SQ2 during sprint qualifying - and suggested that a plethora of tweaks needed to be made once parc ferme opens again ahead of qualifying proper.

"I feel like we didn't maximise the potential of the car today, unfortunately, that's probably the first time this year that this is the case," Ocon lamented.

"I think there was probably more in it today. And, with only one [practice] session, unfortunately we didn't put everything together.

"Some performance left on the side, so it's a good thing that parc ferme opens again so we can change for next qualifying.

"We'll try and race tomorrow like this early in the morning and then, after that, try with a different set-up in the car and see what we get.

"We'll change quite a lot of things - until we try that, we are not going to know exactly that this is the right thing to do, but it might be worth a try."

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A524

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A524

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

His team-mate Pierre Gasly will have to wait until Miami before he gets his hands on the new floor, but he was much more sanguine about his chances without the upgrades.

Gasly's practice was derailed by an ERS issue that forced a change to his power unit components, but was nonetheless happy with the balance he had and felt he had made the most of it during his run to 16th on Saturday's sprint grid.

"We had a problem with the ERS this morning, so basically only managed to get only like three laps out of the session," said Gasly. "And on a sprint weekend we know how important it was to get it right from the start.

"But then the guys managed to solve the issue for this afternoon, change the engine and managed to get the car out for qualifying. So that was good and I'm very pleased with the lap I put in that quali. I think it turned out to be slightly better than we hoped.

"It's pretty tricky without the upgraded floor; it was a good effort, and it came tight to Q2. But it's quite positive.

"I know I'll get these parts in Miami, and that should get us through to Q2 and get a bit further to the points finishes."

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