Esteban Ocon had started the season off well, scoring points and out-performing his teammate Fernando Alonso in the first few races. Things had a change for the worst from Baku, where a DNF was followed by two 14th places at the French and at the Styrian GP, only to finish off the triple header with another DNF in Austria.
Before Silverstone, however, the team had made some changes to his car including a new chassis. Changes that seemed to have fixed the problem as he went back to scoring points in the following races and even claimed his first F1 victory at the end of a rather eventful Hungarian GP. But after a 10th place in Monza, he struggled a lot in Sochi, where he finished the race lapped in P14.
In the last three races Ocon only scored a total of 3 points, while Alonso scored 20.
"The cars were very similar in terms of set-up for the last three or four races, so pretty much identical," commented Ocon.
"There has been quite a lot of deviation in this [Russia] race, and we don't have the same comments [on the car] any more.”
A difficult outing for him at the Russian GP.
"We managed to stick in a good position for the first couple laps, but after that it's been pretty tricky," he explained.
"Pace wise we were lacking quite a lot of lap-time lap by lap and losing ground to the car in front, not being able to attack or defend to any of them, to be fair.”
Alpine is looking into the causes of this performance difference and Ocon is hopeful a solution will be found shortly.
"Quite a lot of things for us to review, quite a lot of work before getting to Turkey, but we'll find what was wrong," said Ocon.
"We have a couple of ideas on what it could be and we are looking at fixing it obviously for the next race or the one after, so we are going to see."
As of now it seems that "there is no particular reason."
"I feel good at the wheel, like I've been feeling good in Monza or Zandvoort," he concluded.