Okon: We had a lot of fun with Gasley

In Sao Paulo, the Alpine F1 drivers finished behind AlphaTauri, but the teams earned the same points and the situation in the constructors’ championship did not change. Esteban Ocon spoke about the team tactics in the fight with Gasly and the predictions for the next season …

Q: After a couple of unsuccessful races, everything started to work out again. You are satisfied?
Esteban Ocon: This is great! The team did a great job, we constantly fought with rivals, even used team tactics. Unfortunately, this did not help us keep Gasley behind, but Fernando and I showed that we want to keep the fifth place in the constructors’ championship.

Q: How was the race? You and Fernando used the same strategy, but was his pace higher? Was it the same in Mexico?
Esteban Ocon: This is completely different. Since the start of the weekend, our one-lap and long distance pace has been much better than Austin and Mexico. This is a big plus. We hope that this will continue until the end of the season. It is not known what position we will take in Qatar – this is a new track for everyone, but we want to earn points again – this is the only way to keep the fifth place in the Constructors’ Cup. We will again face a tight fight with AlphaTauri, they will be faster than us, but we are two against one, and we will try to get ahead of them.

Question: You said that you used command tactics to the maximum. Not only did you switch positions, but you also tried to use DRS while fighting Gasley. How did it work?
Esteban Ocon: It was fun! As I said, we made the most of the situation. Fernando and I exchanged positions: I missed him, and Gasly was catching up with us. Then I said on the radio that it would be good if Fernando gave me the opportunity to use DRS so that I could keep Gasley behind. He reacted immediately and changed the trajectory in the last turn, so that I did not get into a turbulent flow and could approach him at the exit from the turn. We held Gasley back for three or four circles. If not for such tactics, he would have immediately outstripped us.

We tried to make life difficult for him: when Pierre was driving next to me, Fernando shifted from the trajectory so that Gasly got into a turbulent stream. We worked together against one. But we had a lot of fun. It was a tough but fair fight. We have proven that we have a strong team spirit and we are ready to continue this fight to the end.

Q: Many were struck by the pace of Lewis Hamilton. Do you think he is now the favorite for the title?
Esteban Ocon: I am constantly asked similar questions. In the last race it was the other way around: we thought Max was the favorite because he won in Mexico. Now Lewis has won and is considered the favorite. Their tight fight will continue until the end of the season, and everything will depend on their pace in each race. In Brazil, Mercedes and Lewis played in their league – they were incredibly fast. Great job!

Q: When you see the speed advantage of Lewis, does it bother you that there is a lot to be done to get closer to Mercedes?
Esteban Ocon: We have a lot to do to catch up not only with Mercedes, but also with the rest of the teams. Of course, this is not easy. But we are moving in the right direction and want to make progress. Now we do not have enough speed to achieve the desired results, but I have reason to be optimistic next season. We roughly understand what to expect, but we do not know what the rest will achieve. This will become clear only in the first tests.

Source: Формула 1 на F1News.ru by www.f1news.ru.

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