Esteban Ocon praised his Alpine team after scoring their first podium finish since 2021 at the Monaco Grand Prix.
He started the race from third on the grid and made it there despite two pit stops – once to change to medium tires and the second, when the gear started to drop, to his intermediates.
Ocon’s result is a big boost for the team, which was heavily criticized by chairman Laurent Rossi during the last race weekend in Miami. The driver said that since starting work in the simulator before the race weekend everything was fine.
“We made it,” said a delighted Ocon after the race. “What a great weekend from everyone on the team.
“From day one with the simulator really. In all the practice sessions we improved the car from start to finish and not once did we make a bad foot, even when we put on the medium tyres, it was a perfect lap to do that.”
His last podium appearance came at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, where he took his only Grand Prix win to date.
“Now I’m just enjoying the moment,” said Ocon. “It’s been a while since I’ve been on the podium and hopefully this is the first of many.”
The wet conditions took many drivers by surprise, including the race winner Max Verstappen, which at one point crossed the barrier in Portier. However, Ocon said he had not made any contact.
“I touched the wall quite yesterday,” he said. “I didn’t do that today. Gives the team less heart attacks!”
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Monaco Grand Prix 2023