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Esteban Ocon

Ocon: New cars 'not as fun' to drive as predecessors

Esteban Ocon has evaluated how the new breed of Formula 1 car compares to their predecessors, and explained what he'd do with an F1 time machine.

Ocon Zandvoort
To news overview © XPBimages

Esteban Ocon says the new breed of Formula 1 cars are not as fun to drive as their immediate predecessors, but is hopeful of improvements as the rules mature.

A sweeping package of technical changes in 2022 led to the re-introduction of ground effects into Grand Prix racing, with the underbody and floor becoming the prominent producer of downforce as opposed to the 2017-21 spec of car.

The aim was to increase raceability and boost overtaking, which was achieved with more than 700 overtakes in the season, an increase over the 2021 campaign of about 200.

However, the cars were more physical thanks to the demands placed on drivers, with porpoising a key issue throughout the campaign as well as the slow speed performance of the cars.

Alpine driver Ocon believes the old cars are much nicer to drive, especially after a mid-season test in such machinery.

Ocon prefers 2021-spec cars

"Unfortunately, no," said Ocon when asked by media, including RacingNews365.com, if the cars were any fun to drive.

"First of all, it's the first year of the new regulations, so it is going to get better and hopefully our car [for 2023] will go in the right direction.

"But they are heavy, it has less grip, but the degradation is a bit less I would say, so that is a good thing.

"I tested [the 2021 car] at Monza with Jacques Villeneuve, and I enjoyed it much more, and it definitely felt more of a quicker car.

"As long as this year's car is not quicker, [then it is not a problem]. It is the same for everyone."

			© XPB
	© XPB

Time machine

Ocon was also asked which era of F1 he'd go back to if he had a time machine, with the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix winner selecting the glory days for his Enstone-based Alpine squad.

"The years that made me dream about Formula 1 were 2005, 2006 when they had the tyre war [between Bridgestone and Michelin], it was impressive because the technology was [improving] so much, the fight between Ferrari and Renault," he explained.

"But I also think that everything Formula 1 has put now in terms of regulations to get the cars closer together, and racing wise, it is better now.

"It was a cool engine which sounded great, the cars were mega light and it was very fast, but I think if I had to choose, I will still take the [current era]."

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But what are the origins of this world-famous tradition? And with so many litres of this luxury drink sprayed throughout the season, how much money does such a champagne shower actually cost?

Check out our handy explainer video below.


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