Ocon ‘destroyed’ after busy year on the sidelines

Michelle Foster
Esteban Ocon PA

Esteban Ocon says cooling issue caused Styria DNF.

Esteban Ocon wasn’t competing last season but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an exhausting year for the then-Mercedes reserve driver.

Racing from simulator to the track, Ocon spent a large part of last season travelling in order to fulfill all his commitments.

It was, quite simply, an exhausting year.

“I mean, the season I had was very very demanding,” he told Autosport.

“I was not sleeping for two days [at a time], it was quite crazy – the amount of travel I was doing, and the amount of hours I was doing in the simulator and then travelling to track, doing stuff for Mercedes.

“They used me well, but a lot.

“So, I arrived, to be honest, after testing in Abu Dhabi, at my training camp [I was] the lightest I’ve ever been.

“I was destroyed basically, from the year.”

But despite 2019 taking a lot out of him, Ocon says he is pumped and ready for his return to the F1 grid.

This season the Frenchman is racing for Renault, who sort of launched their RS20 earlier this week.

“I spent the whole time off I had fully at my training camp, at altitude in the Pyrenees, like I’ve done in the past but even more.

“Instead of starting fifth or sixth of January, I was there on the second. Instead of going back for Christmas the evening of 23rd [of December], I was there on the 24th. Stuff like that.

“And I didn’t see home the whole winter. I was going back and forward to the factory.

“And yeah, my targets have been reached. I’ve put on four and a half kilos, which is good in two months, of muscle.

“So I’m pretty happy with my development. It’s a good, solid base to start at.”

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