Alpine alarm bells as Esteban Ocon reveals true moment of the troubles ahead

Michelle Foster
Esteban Ocon on the grid

Esteban Ocon on the grid

Esteban Ocon has revealed Alpine knew back in December already that there was “some issues” with the A524 that they needed to fix.

Alpine’s start to 2024 has been blighted by an overweight and slow Renault-powered car with the team yet to score a single point.

Alpine knew when they did sim runs that something wasn’t right

Slowest of all in qualifying in Bahrain, they suffered another double Q1 exit in Saudi Arabia, although he did manage to haul himself up to 13th place.

Last in the Constructors’ Championship, point-less along with three other teams, Ocon has revealed the team knew even before February’s pre-season testing that they were in trouble.

“In the simulator in December,” the Frenchman said as per RacingNews365.

“I think that’s when we realised that there was some issues that we needed to fix. And you know, that’s probably when did realise it.”

All Alpine can do now is take it step by step as they look to haul themselves off the bottom of the log.

“I think the whole year, you know, we need to improve, step by step,” Ocon added. “Obviously, it’s going to take time, it’s not going to be something overnight.

“There is a plan to bring updates throughout the year. So, hopefully, after every update, we’re going to make steps.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 2024: 11 seismic, seminal and sombre F1 anniversaries coming up this season

F1 2024: Head-to-head race statistics between team-mates

His team-mate Pierre Gasly retired on the opening lap of the Grand Prix when he lost sixth gear.

He says he knows “very clearly” what’s missing, now it’s just a case of finding it. But that will take time.

“We know we’ve got to find more performance, we’ve got to understand more about this new car,” he said. “We need to find solutions, and for that we need to run and try to gather as much data as possible, so I think it’s quite clear.

“I can feel very clearly what I’m missing in the car and what I want from the team and we know the improvements we’ve got to make.

“But for the meantime we’ve got to be patient until some upgrades are coming on the car, and in the meantime we’ve got to do the best we can with what we have.

Read next: The inside story of Mika Hakkinen’s dramatic 1999 title victory against Ferrari