The final 2022 standings show Esteban Ocon ahead of former Alpine team-mate Fernando Alonso, and the Frenchman says it “feels good”.
This was the second and final season for Ocon and Alonso as Alpine team-mates, Alonso having now departed to join rivals Aston Martin.
And the scoreboard alone would say that Alpine are keeping the better-performing driver, Ocon having scored 92 points to Alonso’s 81.
“It feels good to have beaten Alonso because he is a very fast driver,” Ocon reflected, as per Motorsport.com.
“I had to raise my own level as much as possible. It’s satisfying that I beat him over this year.”
Ocon suggested that in the races, his driving style potentially worked in his favour as opposed to Alonso’s, though over one lap he did not believe it played much of a role.
“There was no big difference and in qualifying it made little difference, but in the race probably a bit more,” Ocon stated.
“Since I finished ahead of him in the Championship, that was probably in my favour.”
That was Ocon’s fifth full Formula 1 campaign, P8 matching his best overall finish having also claimed that spot in the 2017 standings as a Force India driver, though his 2022 points tally was his highest yet.
Ocon looks at 2022 as his “most complete year in F1”, adding that the only thing that was missing to truly affirm that was a podium finish. Lando Norris was the only non-Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes driver to appear on the podium in 2022.
“I think this was my most complete year in F1,” said Ocon. “The only thing I miss in the end is a podium finish.
“But there were some circumstances that caused us not to make it, so hopefully we will get it done again next year.”
Reliability had a say in the Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso result
“I also had my problems,” Ocon rightly points out, but when it comes to Alpine’s reliability woes in 2022, there can be no arguing that Alonso bore the brunt of them.
Saudi Arabia, Imola, Monza, Singapore, Mexico and Abu Dhabi, all of these are examples of where Alpine reliability let Alonso down and forced him into early retirement from the race.
Now, Ocon did also have bad luck as he mentions, retiring from the British GP with a fuel pump issue, while the Singapore GP was a double DNF for Alpine, but across the season it was Alonso who lost the most points through no fault of his own.
Based on his calculations, Alonso believes he was minus 60 points due to the Alpine A522, that before adding the Mexican and Abu Dhabi GPs into the equation. So, at least to Alonso’s mind, he should have outscored Ocon this season by a comfortable margin.
Sadly this is how it goes sometimes in Formula 1, it is a test of team and driver after all, but Alonso would be justified in raising an eyebrow at Ocon’s reaction to beating him ‘fair and square’ over the season.