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Esteban Ocon

Ocon explains how he managed race-long battle with Hamilton

Esteban Ocon scored his best finish of the season so far by claiming P4 at the Japanese Grand Prix, but was tasked with holding off Lewis Hamilton en route to the result.

Ocon Japan
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Esteban Ocon admits that he was looking in his mirrors "the whole time" during his race-long battle with Lewis Hamilton at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Frenchman started the event from P5 on the grid, and was able to make up a place on the opening lap following Carloa Sainz's retirement.

After proceedings resumed following a two-hour delay due to the heavy rainfall, Ocon engaged in a fight with Hamilton throughout the shortened race and managed to hold off the seven-time World Champion to claim P4, his best result of the season so far.

"To finish fourth is a fantastic result for us, especially in these conditions," Ocon said after the race.

"It was a difficult start with the rain and poor visibility, so we had to be fully focused to get through the early stages. I'm glad we managed to race and reward the fans who have been so good in their support all weekend."

Ocon reflects on Hamilton battle

In terms of how he he managed his lengthy duel with Hamilton at Suzuka, Ocon explained: "Racing Lewis is always a pleasure and I was having to drive while looking in my mirrors the whole time."

Ocon also offered his congratulations to another World Champion, Max Verstappen, who clinched his second title in Japan.

"Congratulations to Max for winning the World Championship. He deserves it after dominating and driving brilliantly at every race," he continued.

"We leave Japan with a great haul of points, claiming back fourth in the Constructors' Championship."

Alpine pleased with result for Constructors' battle

With the team continuing to battle McLaren for fourth place in the Constructors' Championship, Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer was thrilled to secure a double-points finish thanks to Ocon and teammate Fernando Alonso's efforts.

"As a team, we can be pleased with our points collection from this race, with Esteban delivering a fantastic result in fourth place after a supremely well managed race and Fernando in seventh to score 18 points," Szafnauer commented.

"We've been strong all weekend here across every session, so we are deserving of the points we scored today and we move back into fourth in the Constructors' Championship.

"It's been a busy two weeks for the team across both Singapore and Japan, and the hard work will continue as we look ahead to the next double header in Austin and Mexico in a fortnight."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Do F1's rules on championship points in shortened races need modifying?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key issues from the Japanese Grand Prix, including Max Verstappen's dominant run to his second World Championship, and whether F1's current system of awarding points in shortened races needs tweaking.


F1 2022 Japanese Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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