Alonso lost his opportunity to go up to fifth place on the grid, falling four places to ninth at the finish. A poor launch off the line immediately had him on the defensive and then struggled for pace.
Ocon was able to gain some positions, moving from the back row of the grid to fifteenth at the end, with everything still up for grabs in tomorrow's 63-lap race at Imola.
According to Esteban Ocon who started P19 and finished P16 comments, "It was a tricky race overall today and it was always going to be a challenge for us to gain places."
He adds, "To finish in sixteenth was probably the best we could have achieved. I had a decent start, avoided the incidents and from there it was a train with the cars ahead."
The Frenchman continues, "It was difficult to progress, but tomorrow, I’m confident we can do more. Scoring points is very much our target. We gained a good understanding on the tyres today, which will help with our strategy."
Ocon concludes, "There could be some rain too, and, as we know in Formula 1, anything can happen.”
Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso who started P5 and fell back to P9 comments, "We weren’t fast enough today, so it was a disappointing Sprint Qualifying for us."
He adds, "There was a lot of tyre degradation and our start was far from ideal, so we need to look into that tonight. We knew that it was going to be tough to keep Perez and Sainz behind with the pace they have, so we thought seventh was possibly a realistic position today."
The Spaniard continues, "But, with the tyre graining, it was made harder to achieve this. We have tomorrow to recover and today is almost like a Q4!"
Alonso concludes, "We will review our tyre selection and will see what the weather is going to do tomorrow, because it looks like there is a chance of rain. There’s definitely more to play for.”