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Ocon reveals 'scare moment' during F1 off-season

Esteban Ocon reveals he contracted a lung virus post-Abu Dhabi which affected his Formula 1 pre-season training.

Esteban Ocon has revealed that he was "very sick" after contracting a lung virus during the off-season. The Alpine driver said he was unable to get up to the right fitness level in the weeks after the final race in Abu Dhabi, which affected his pre-season training for 2023 during the winter break. "I've been very sick after Abu Dhabi, I got some kind of virus in the lungs," he told media, including RacingNews365.com . "So for a month and a half I was not really able to get back to the fitness level that I was supposed to have. "We've done a great job together with my team, my coaches, to go back to fitness level that I have in the previous year and I feel great now. "But in such a short period of time those viruses are strong, and everyone needs to take care."

Ocon: I'm at higher fitness than I was in 2022

Ocon explained that he worked on a regime with his fitness team to enable him to recover as quickly as possible, however there was some lingering side effects that made his pre-season difficult. He said: "I was able to do some things, but I have to say my cardio went to the highest level at walking pace - it was that bad. "We did everything in a way for me to recover as quickly possible and to switch that into full training mode when I was feeling better. But for a long time it did plateau." The Frenchman believes that he is back up to full fitness after the episode, with data showing that he is at a higher level than he was at the start of the 2022 season. "We have the data on a the different physical tests, on my weight and all that, and I'm higher on most data that I had in 2022," he explained. "It was just a scare moment for quite a while, which was not going away. The human body is very strange, it's not a machine and that's why we can't fix it as quickly as we could fix a car."

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