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F1 | Dutch GP | Esteban Ocon on outscoring McLaren at Zandvoort: "Very satisfying."

The French driver discussed his Zandvort race, why he didn't manage to close the gap to Sainz and his hopes for the upcoming Italian GP

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F1 | Dutch GP | Esteban Ocon on outscoring McLaren at Zandvoort: "Very satisfying."
Fuente imagen: Sara Habets -Motorlat

It was a positive Dutch GP for the Alpine drivers, who managed to end the race both in the points for the fifth time in a row in spite of starting in P12 and P13. Esteban Ocon only achieved a ninth place at Zandvoort, barely missing a chance of improving his final position as he didn't close up the gap to Carlos Sainz.

The Ferrari driver had received a five seconds time penalty due to an unsafe release folowing his second pit stop, with Ocon just behind him and immediately informed of the accident. However, the French driver wasn't able to get close to the Spaniard, staying in his ninth place post race.

Ocon talked about it in the post-race media session, mentioning the amount of time lost during his first stint while managing his starting tyres as cause for the missed opportunity:

"I think the time that we lost in the race was done earlier, anyway. We lost a good eight or nine seconds in the beginning, you know, trying to stay on the soft tyre for a little bit longer, and from there on... that's where we lost the race today.

"It's a bit of a shame, but still a good recovery, coming back with both cars in the points after where we were, it's a solid effort but much more was on the table."

On Lap 55 the 2021 Hungarian GP winner had been overtaken by Sainz while yellow flags were out as Valtteri Bottas had stopped on track. The move hadn't been investigated, and Sainz didn't return the position after the exit of the safety car, but in Ocon's opinion there should have been a penalisation for the Spaniard:

"Yeah, I was not sure. Honestly, there was a car stopped, so there should have been a yellow flag there, so he overtook me and I was expecting him to give me back the position. But apparently there were no flags. It was a little bit odd that, but in the end they were quicker."

He also discussed the strategy he was on during the race, with the hard compund working much better than it had in Hungary:

"I think we knew in a way that it was going to be like that, just a matter of timing really in this race that it didn't work out for us. It was much more of a pushing race all the way through than I expected, and it always creates some crazy endings, last year it was the same. It's a great race, a great event here."

According to him, sixth position could have been his final result in Zandvoort, if not for tyre degradation, but the Alpine driver believes it can happen in the next round.

"I think sixth, yeah, was definitely my place today, so that's what we are trying to chase in Monza.

"Hopefully we can be as strong at Monza as we went into Spa. If we look at last year, Monza was a place where we were not as quick as at Spa, so hopefully we can turn these things around and get some strong qualifying and race pace together."

In spite of McLaren appearing much faster than the French team drivers during the practice sessions and in qualifying, Alpine ended up the Dutch weekend increasing their advantage on the British team in the constructors'championship by four points. 

"Very satisfying, we were clearly not at ease this weekend in comparison to the McLarens, but we managed to outscare them so it's very positive, but we could have outscored them more," he said, pleased by the gap but not completely satisfied with his final result.

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