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Esteban Ocon

Ocon reveals height issue led to cooling problems 'especially during hot races'

The Frenchman is among one of the tallest drivers on the grid, something that had an unintended consequence for Alpine.

Ocon Austria
To news overview © XPB

At 1.86m, Esteban Ocon is one of the tallest drivers on the grid. Even though he casts a long shadow, he is also quite petite.

It's not uncommon to see Formula 1 drivers have this sort of stature, as they have to save as much weight as possible - especially in the era of heavier, and sometimes overweight, cars.

Speaking exclusively to RacingNews365.com, Ocon reveals that drivers need to have confidence in themselves to achieve their weight goals which translates to performance on track.

"You need to be confident in yourself, and I believe I can be stronger than most people physically, apart from maybe Valtteri [Bottas], who is an Ironman athlete!

"But I have all the strength, and I do put in a lot of effort. When I'm wearing a T-shirt, because I'm quite tall, you don't see that I'm quite fit."

The new generation of cars introduced in 2022 are among the heaviest ever seen in F1, so with the increase in weight does this affect that desire to save every last gram of excess fat?

"This year, something that we've really worked on a bit differently, even though I was putting a lot of effort in before my new physio Thomas joined in 2021, we worked on fine details," explained Ocon.

"Also, my training camp that I had in the Pyrenees that I was going to in the winter is now in Annecy, which is close to where I live. I can basically do training camps in between the races.

"For example, I'm heavier than I was last year, so I kept more muscle mass, and I feel better with energy than I was last year."

Alpine suffered from cooling problems prior to 2022

Given Ocon's height relative to his teammate Fernando Alonso - who is only 1.71m - the Frenchman revealed that the team had to make some crucial modifications to his seating position early on for the A522.

This came after the team was suffering from problems throughout 2021, which were exacerbated during the races in warmer climates.

He explained: "We've worked hard with the team on my seating position.

"Last year, it has been a bit problematic at times in hot races, because I was quite high on a lot of different aero [discussion] topics, but this year, it's not the case. We really did a good job."

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