With the BWT Alpine F1 Team riding on a high from its double points finish in Bahrain last weekend, it’s no surprise that Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso are both very much looking forward to getting on track in Saudi Arabia.
Team Enstone achieved its best performance in a season-opening race since 2013, when Kimi Raikkonen took the race win at the Australian Grand Prix whilst it was called the Lotus F1 Team.
Saudi Arabia was also a good race for Alpine last year; Ocon very narrowly missed out on getting a third place finish (Valtteri Bottas, then a Mercedes driver, beat him to it by just 0.102 seconds!) and also ended up leading a lap.
“In terms of points in an opening race, Bahrain was my best performance since I started in F1 so that is definitely a positive,” said Ocon about the upcoming weekend. “Double points for the team made Sunday even better and when you compare our opening race last year, there is much to be happy about.
“It’s great that we are racing so soon after Bahrain and it will be key to carry this positive momentum into the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend. It was great to finally drive the A522 in racing conditions and very much looking forward to doing it all again in just a few days in Jeddah. We raced there not too long ago so the track isn’t as unknown to us drivers as it was last year.“
Ocon’s views were echoed by his teammate. “Both cars scored points which is the main thing for us from the first race,” Alonso said. “Last year we didn’t score any in Bahrain, so it’s already an improvement.“
“The competition in Formula 1 is not only on track but off it too,” Alonso was also keen to stress. “At Enstone and Viry we have to focus on what’s ahead and continue to bring updates to our cars, so we can not only stay where we are, but make steps towards the front.
“The team is working so hard at both factories and at the track too. It’s a pleasure to see this all coming together and I’m really happy with what we’ve achieved so far.“