Ocon aims to put ‘unfinished business’ right in Turkey

Date published: October 6 2021 - Finley Crebolder

Esteban Ocon spins at the start of the Turkish Grand Prix. Turkey November 2020

Esteban Ocon feels he has “unfinished business” in Turkey after last year’s race and is aiming to put things right.

At the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, the Alpine driver looked to be in with a good chance of scoring points for the team then known as Renault after qualifying in P7.

However, after getting off the line well, he spun after making contact with his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and could not fight his way back into the points, ultimately finishing the race in P11.

Given what happened, he feels he has unfinished business at the circuit and is therefore pleased to be going back there.

“I like Istanbul Park as it’s a really nice circuit,” said the Frenchman.

“It was my first time racing there last year, as it was for a lot of drivers on the grid, and it definitely lived up to expectations.

“When it was announced we would be racing in Turkey again, I was pretty happy as I feel like I have some sort of unfinished business there.”

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The conditions at last year’s race were hugely difficult, with all of the drivers struggling to find any grip in dry weather and rain then coming down to make things even worse.

Indeed, Ocon says the wet qualifying session was the biggest challenge he has ever faced in terms of conditions.

“It was an interesting weekend last year for many reasons. The track had been resurfaced and at first it was challenging to find the grip on track,” he continued.

“Then as the track began to rubber in, it rained on Saturday for qualifying and it was probably the most challenging conditions I’ve ever driven in.

“We made a strong start off the line in the race and certainly there was potential for a good result, but a number of incidents halted any progress – which I’m determined to put right this year.”

 

Ocon has had a much better season on the whole this year, claiming his first win at the Hungarian Grand Prix and being a closer match for his team-mate Fernando Alonso than many would have expected.

However, his performances have not been good enough to impress former driver Marc Surer, who feels he should be faster than the Spaniard.