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Esteban Ocon

Ocon: Monaco performance 'surprised' Alpine

Esteban Ocon credits his confidence in the car as being an important factor that contributed to Alpine's first podium of the season in Monaco.

Ocon podium Monaco
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Esteban Ocon says his performance at Monaco which earned him a podium "surprised" Alpine after their tough start to the 2023 Formula 1 season.

The Frenchman found himself fighting for pole during qualifying on Saturday, conceding that he could have got onto the front row if the team were not being cautious with their approach.

During the race Ocon managed to hold off challenges from Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton, while also managing the tricky conditions when rain hit the circuit.

"We had a difficult start to the season but from the first session, I felt strong in the car, felt confident at the wheel. I was able to push, session after sessions, closer to the limit than I'm usually doing in Monaco," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"[Our pace] extremely surprised us, for sure, [but] I think we should keep feet to the ground at the moment."

Barcelona will be a stronger test of their car

The margins at Monaco were some of the closest seen in F1 so far, largely due to the short nature of the circuit.

The next race in Barcelona is one of the few purpose-built facilities that Formula 1 has visited so far this season, with the majority of the opening races taking place on street circuits.

Alpine have predicted that they could be as quick as Mercedes and Ferrari at Barcelona, with Ocon saying that it could be a "good test" for the team to see their pace in a tight competitive order.

He added: "Barcelona is going to be a very different characteristic. A track that everyone knows and a good test for us to see where we are exactly."

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