Esteban Ocon has outlined where Alpine have improved the car following a double-points haul last time out in portimao.
Ocon qualified sixth only behind the the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers as well as Carlos Sainz. On Sunday, Ocon finished seventh, just ahead of a charging Fernando Alonso. It was by far Alpine's best showing so far in 2021.
"We were surprised for sure," Ocon told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press. It's all searching for all those little things that we are finding session after sessions. days after day.
"I think the car in terms of balance was really nice to drive on a tricky track with very low grip. I think our stability was pretty decent from entry of the corners to the mid corner.
"Everyone, everybody was struggling a bit with traction but I think it gave us the confidence to push on in qualifying and in the race."
Alpine struggled in Spain last year, scoring no points and failing to make Q3. Ocon feels if they can perform well this weekend, it will stand the team in good stead for the rest of the year.
"If the pace in Portugal can translate here, I think it's going to be a good season for us so it's going to be a very important weekend," said Ocon.
"The feedback that we are giving me and Fernando, they're on the same route so it's very clear for the team to to analyse what we are saying because we are saying the same thing. It's working really well at the moment."