During the weekend in Monaco, where Alpine was lacking pace, on Saturday Ocon made it through to Q2 to start the race on Sunday in P10 [because of Leclerc's DNS], as teammate Fernando Alonso dropped out in Q1.
After starting the race in the middle of the grid, the Frenchman managed to get his soft tyres to lap 37, when he made his pit stop. Before that, Esteban executed an overcut over Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, resisting the Italian’s pressure to finish on ninth, while Alonso only managed to get P13.
“I’m very happy that on a not easy weekend for us where the pace was not always there, we are scoring consistently, which is what we want,” said Ocon.
“It was good we got Antonio during the race, who qualified better than us… It was not easy [to defend from him and] we were in a little bit of a tricky situation, but to defend here is probably the best place so we managed it in the end.
“We learned a lot of good things from this weekend that I think will help us for the future so we’ll keep pushing and hopefully find some more performance from the car, especially on tracks like this.”
After scoring Alpine’s first points of the season at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Esteban Ocon has finished inside the top 10 at every race since then, making his total points 12 while Alonso has only 5. Ocon has declared he felt “more together" as a driver this year (compared to the 2020 season) and has admitted to being happy to be “close to the max” from his A532 this current season.
“On a weekend where we were not at our best in terms of performance, especially compared to the last couple of races, it feels good to come out with two points,” said Ocon.
“Definitely it’s going to help us in the tricky issues that we had in qualifying [and] help to develop the car in the future.
“I do feel confident in the car,” he added, “I feel like we’ve been extracting close to the max each time. There’s still margin, there’s still things we can do better and I’m very pleased with the job that we are doing with my guys and overall with the team. I think it’s a lot more solid than last year, a lot more together and I’m pretty pleased. When the moments feel like that, you have to enjoy.”