Ocon: I’m reducing the gap to Ricciardo

Michelle Foster
Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon

Beating Daniel Ricciardo to the chequered flag in Portugal, Esteban Ocon reckons he is begin to “reduce the gap” to his team-mate.

Ocon returned to the Formula 1 grid this season, signing with Renault after a year on the sidelines with Mercedes.

The Frenchman, though, has lived up to expectations.

Ocon has been soundly beaten by Ricciardo, scoring 40 points to the Aussie’s 80 with Ricciardo also on the podium at the Eifel Grand Prix.

Up until Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix Ocon had only once finished ahead of Ricciardo when both saw the chequered flag. That’s now up to two.

The 24-year-old was eighth on Sunday with Ricciardo P9.

“I am glad that I have been managing to reduce the gap to Daniel,” Ocon said, as quoted by Grandpx.news

“It’s a good sign.

“It took me a long time to get used to the team and find a common language, but now everything is fine and we need to continue like this.”

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Esteban Ocon

In recent weeks Ocon’s place on the grid has reportedly come under threat with Pierre Gasly said to be in talks with the Enstone team.

Shut out of Red Bull’s senior team, Gasly is believed to be looking outside the Red Bull family for a new job.

Ocon, however, is determined to hold onto his seat.

The former Force India driver reckons he has been paying the price for a year sitting on the sidelines but reckons he is beginning to find his form.

“It’s been a long process,” he said.

“I missed a season and when I returned I found myself in an unfamiliar team. I had to learn a lot, understand a lot, get used to a car that was very different from what I was used to.

“But I understood all of that and gradually closed the gap. My personal goal is to get even closer to my team-mate in the few races still to come.

“I want to use this opportunity to prepare for next year.”

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