Ocon choosing to ignore rivals’ development rumours

Henry Valantine
Alpine of Esteban Ocon with 'El Plan' rear wing. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

A rear view of Esteban Ocon's car, with 'El Plan' emblazoned on the rear wing. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

Esteban Ocon is preferring to focus on himself and Alpine this year, rather than getting himself wrapped up in the inevitable development war in Formula 1.

Alpine became the penultimate team to launch their new car on Monday evening, with only Alfa Romeo left to officially unveil their challenger after three days of running in Barcelona this week.

The brand new set of regulations in Formula 1 has provided a platform on which teams can design radically different cars.

While there had been worries that the tighter restrictions would prove to leave less wiggle room for designs, the cars have shown a wide variety of different design philosophies on first glance, which will lead to a fascinating time as they jostle for supremacy come the season opener in Bahrain.

While the action on track is still the primary focus, many within the sport predict the goings-on away from the circuit to be just as gruelling a process, as teams inevitably look to replicate successful elements of rival cars into their own design, while trying to keep their best facets under wraps as best they can.

Ocon said he is excited for the year ahead because of this, but said it’s better to become the fastest team as the season goes on, rather than flying out of the blocks only to then fall back.

He expects it to be a “great challenge” for the drivers to navigate, as the majority have already said the new cars require a change to their own driving styles, but the Frenchman is going to keep things simple for himself and keep his focus firmly on Alpine and Alpine alone.

“This year is extremely exciting for Formula 1 and for us as a team,” said Ocon, quoted by Formula1.com.

“It’s like the cards have been redistributed, it’s a fresh start and there is going to be a real mix without immediately knowing who will be at the front.

“We don’t know what will happen; you could say that provides some anxiety, heading into the unknown, but I find that exciting.

“It’s not necessarily about who will start the season the quickest, but more about who will end it the quickest.

“We know there will be a high rate of development from all the teams through the year, almost like a race in the design offices away from the track.

“It’s going to be a great challenge for us drivers, where hopefully we can follow cars closer and enjoy some closer racing. Let’s see, though; all of this is subject to confirmation, and we will have a much clearer picture at the end of the tests.

“We don’t know where our competitors will be, but we will concentrate only on ourselves.


“You always hear rumours from other teams. Some will be ahead of the game, others not, but it’s hard to tell.

“What I do know is that we will push flat out! Our aim is to come out from race weekends with no regrets and deliver everything possible with what we have. That is how I am approaching the season.”

Following their new title sponsorship with BWT, Alpine have incorporated an element of pink into their livery this season – and will run in a flipped pink colour scheme at the first two races this year.


Ocon: Alpine seized chances, now we need a fast car

Esteban Ocon has applauded his team for seizing chances last season.