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Ocon sets lofty Alpine targets after Monaco podium success

Following early season pressure from the Alpine CEO, Esteban Ocon is hoping their Monaco Grand Prix podium will be "the first of many this season".

Esteban Ocon is hoping the Alpine team can use his Monaco Grand Prix podium as a springboard for more success in the 2023 Formula 1 season. The Alpine team had set a target of P4 in the Constructors' Championship ahead of the 2023 season, but a lack of pace, collisions and operational issues meant the Enstone-based team were languishing in P6 ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix. The run of results had incurred the wrath of Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi, who branded their start to the season as "amateurish". Ocon's podium, combined with Pierre Gasly's seventh place, vaulted the team clear of rivals McLaren in P5, with the team demonstrating competitive pace compared to Mercedes and Ferrari. Following the Monaco race, both Otmar Szafanuer and Alan Permane spoke highly of the team's current car performance, with the latter believing that Alpine can compete with the new 'top four' F1 teams on the grid.

Speaking ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, Ocon was asked about his relief at taking a podium and the team's chances of achieving more in 2023. "I think it was clear that we were not happy with how the season started, we were struggling and not scoring as much points as we really needed to," Ocon told media, including RacingNews365.com . "But, we never stopped believing, we never stopped working the way we should, to try and get that car as high as it can go, and nothing has changed from that side and everyone was giving their maximum for it to happen. "Everyone at the team deserves what has happened last weekend. All the hard work has paid off, and it shows that we can be there and it gives everyone more hunger to keep that going. "Now that we've tasted it, that's why I'm saying we always need to aim to make it happen again. So I'm hoping is the first of many this season. "I'm not saying that's what's going to happen but I'm trusting the plan of Laurent Rossi and Luca de Meo, they are very competitive people and I'm fully onboard with the 100-race plan they have."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying