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Esteban Ocon Labels Japanese GP as a ‘Tough One for the Team’

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In 2022 Esteban Ocon exhibited remarkable defensive skills, holding off the relentless pursuit of none other than Lewis Hamilton. His tenacity paid off, resulting in a commendable fourth-place finish—a significant achievement for both Ocon and the Alpine team in the 2022 season.

However, the race in Japan during the 2024 season unfolded differently. Ocon and the Alpine squad encountered what he described as a “backward step”. This setback hindered their ability to compete effectively against rival teams, leaving Ocon unable to mount a significant fight and finished 15th.

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After the race, Ocon said, “The race in Japan was a tough one for the team. The car seemed more competitive in Qualifying, where we again managed to advance to Q2. However, that was only a small consolation given how the race eventually panned out.”

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Esteban Ocon left in frustration after Japanese GP

Esteban Ocon has candidly acknowledged that the Alpine Formula 1 team encountered a regression during the Japanese Grand Prix, rendering them unable to compete effectively against their rivals. Alpine’s season has been plagued by challenges, including an overweight and uncompetitive A524 car. Although minor upgrades were introduced to enhance performance and reduce weight, the recent Suzuka race proved to be a setback.

During the standing restart, Pierre Gasly maneuvered between his teammate and Yuki Tsunoda, resulting in minor contact. However, Ocon, who finished 15th (one place ahead of Gasly), believes that this incident did not significantly impact their overall performance. He stated, “I don’t think it has changed the overall picture of the race, unfortunately. Yes, it didn’t help, that’s for sure, but we didn’t lose that much performance on both cars.”

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Despite Alpine’s bold strategy of triggering undercuts to gain track position, Ocon admitted that it was insufficient to maintain their position ahead of the cars they had overtaken. He expressed frustration, saying, “Yeah, today I felt like I couldn’t fight. The other ones were in another category.”

READ MORE: 7x F1 World Champion claims joint event of F1 and MotoGP would be “epic”

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Moin
Moin
I'm Moin Akhunji, a passionate sports writer renowned for my unique storytelling approach. My expertise spans across various sports, notably NASCAR, F1, and IndyCar. I hold a profound admiration for athletes like Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. When I'm not crafting articles, you'll likely find me trekking in the hills, indulging in my favorite hobby.
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