Esteban Ocon produced a sensational performance at the Belgian Grand Prix to seal a double points finish for the Alpine F1 Team, despite having started from P16.
The Frenchman had actually qualified fifth but took a grid penalty for an engine change, which saw the Alpine driver exceed his legal limit.
This didn’t stop the 25-year-old from having an incredible race, as he worked his way well into the points places to claim an impressive P7.
Ocon hailed the Belgian GP as the team’s “best one” since he joined, with the performance of the car being impressively strong all weekend in the Ardennes forest.
“It’s been an awesome race, I think definitely the best one since I joined the team in terms of performance,” Ocon told Channel 4.
“I think we were flying yesterday in qualifying and in the race today, starting from P17 [sic], to get six points, I think it’s very positive.
“We were expecting to get one, at best, but the car was extremely fast in the straight line, really good in corners, I felt good tyre degradation, good calls by the team, so we can be happy with how we performed today.
“I think 100% target accomplished this weekend and looking forward to the next one to do even better.”
The A522’s Spa performance has filled both the team and Ocon with confidence, especially after they extended their lead over the McLaren F1 Team in fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.
With the car having started the triple header so strongly, Ocon is hopeful that it will mean a run of solid results is on the cards.
“Yeah, it definitely gives us confidence,” continued the Frenchman.
“In two days, from how sharp we were in this race, the other teams are not going to have much time to work properly on the cars, they need to travel, so on the triple-header gives us good confidence.”
Whilst the team are currently looking strong, it is already preparing for next season’s incoming change.
Alpine are of course losing Fernando Alonso, with the Spaniard having announced prior to the summer break that he’d agreed to replace Sebastian Vettel at the Aston Martin F1 Team next season.
Despite the announcement having been made, Ocon revealed that the team’s dynamic has remained with nothing having changed in regard to the team’s focus.
“No there’s been no difference since that got announced,” Ocon revealed.
“The race team is very focused on the job that we have to do which is keeping that fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“With Fernando yeah, it’s going to be sad to see him leave, but we still have a good effort to put in all together until at the end of the year, and he’s not going to be too far anyway, he’s going to be next on the road, I’m still going to be racing alongside him.
“So that’s still going to be fun, but yeah, definitely going to be missed because I enjoyed working with him.”