Australian GP: Preview - Alpine


Esteban Ocon opened his points-scoring account for 2023 by finishing in eighth place in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The Frenchman is all set for Australia and Albert Park, where he finished in seventh place last year.

How do you reflect on our team result in Jeddah?
Esteban Ocon: It was important to have a smooth weekend and leave on Sunday with both cars in the points. We achieved both of those things and our final result was probably the most we could have achieved. We can see that we're making steps in the right direction towards our goals, but it is also clear that we are not where we want to be right now. I know the trackside team and everyone at the factories are working flat out to take the fight to our competitors further up the grid. We will keep working hard collectively to see where we can improve as every tenth of a second will be key this year.

How hard are you and the team working behind the scenes?
EO: We know what we need to do to close the gap in front. There's definitely still learning to be done, but we've debriefed together following the test and the first two races and we've clearly identified the areas where we need to improve. I was in Enstone last week on the simulator and I visited various departments. I'm pleased with what we have in our development plan with upgrades coming around the corner. Right now, we're focused on this weekend as we head back to Melbourne where we aim to have another double points team result.

What are your thoughts on the Australian Grand Prix?
EO: Australia is always a favourite for drivers and teams. Melbourne just has a special vibe when F1 is in town and the fans are so passionate. It's well worth the long trip and the jet lag! The track itself is fun and the changes made last year I think really improved the circuit with better overtaking opportunities. It's still a challenging track, both technically and physically, with a lot of changes of direction at low and high speeds. We know braking stability, kerb riding and car agility will be important to the set-up of the cars. It was good to have a week to recover and prepare, but I know the team is ready to go again and we can't wait to start our weekend in Melbourne.

Pierre Gasly made it two points-scoring finishes from two races in Alpine colours after his ninth-place finish in Jeddah. Pierre aims to make it a three-race streak as he gears up for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

How did it feel to score last time out in Jeddah?
Pierre Gasly: We made it back-to-back top tens for 2023 in Jeddah, which is a positive start to my career at Alpine, even if we left Saudi Arabia wanting more. On my side, it was a quiet race, filled with learning about the car and the things we need to do to keep improving. We probably didn't make the step we needed between Friday and Sunday and that's something we need to look into to make sure we're maximising everything from the weekend. I need to keep working hard with my engineers in order to be in better shape for Qualifying, as we're still not where we want to be on single-lap pace and getting the car into a good window to compete for higher places.

What do you think of Albert Park and the Australian Grand Prix?
PG: Albert Park is a great circuit and another different challenge for us this year. We've seen how we are at a conventional circuit in Bahrain, a fast street circuit in Saudi Arabia, and now we will see how we are at Albert Park, which is different in characteristics. It's a fun circuit, quite bumpy in places and we have to be immediately on it if we're to come away with a satisfactory feeling and points on the board. Australia is a place where I've not scored as many points as I'd have liked in my Formula 1 career, so it's time to put that right this weekend.

How have you prepared for this weekend's race?
PG: I've had a busy week with some Alpine events, personal events and time at Enstone on the simulator. I really want to keep maximising every moment I spend with the team, and it was great to visit staff at the factory to hear from some people and learn more about some of the developments we have on the way. I must say, I'm excited by what I saw, and it was great to see everyone's motivation to keep working and find the performance gains we need. I will do my part on track, and we will move forwards as a team.

Jack Doohan is racing on home soil for the first time in Formula 2 this weekend as the series heads to Albert Park. The Gold Coast hero previews his home race.

How are you feeling about having a home race?
Jack Doohan: I'm feeling pretty good. I think it's going to be an awesome experience to race at home and racing in front of an Aussie crowd is going to be something I've never experienced before. To see fans that follow what you're doing around the rest of the world and then be able to come back into my home country and have their support, is going to be an amazing experience.

Is there a pressure racing in front of a home crowd or does it give you more determination to win?
JD: No, I don't think I feel any pressure. I think it's the opposite for me. I'm going to embrace the home support and really take it all in. I feel even more myself at home. I'm on home soil and I've got a home crowd so for me it's the opposite. I'm going to go out and show that I'm where I'm supposed to be.

Is there any particular challenge you are expecting to face?
JD: The biggest challenge is going to be that it is a brand-new track. For all the grid, we have never raced at Albert Park before so just getting up to speed and getting to grips with the track. Maybe the four or five push laps that we will get before qualifying are going to make it challenging, but it's going to be a really fun race weekend!

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 29/03/2023
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.