Monaco Grand Prix: Preview - Alpine


Esteban Ocon: Reflecting on Imola, I would say it was a tricky race for us as a team, and we were not in a position to fight with the other cars around us.

The car felt more competitive over a single lap, and we were again within reach of making it into Q3, but in the race we were hindered by a lack of straight-line speed. It meant we were not able to make progress on our starting position or defend from those behind. We tried different strategies with both cars to give ourselves an opportunity to make up places, but ultimately, we lacked the required pace. I extended my first stint to allow for a one-stop and hoped we could jump any of those two-stopping but in the end that did not happen. What Imola showed is that we must keep improving and working hard to understand the car more - extracting the most from the set-up at the different types of circuit we visit, starting already this week in Monaco.

Monaco is such a special place on the calendar and is synonymous with Formula 1 and the history of motorsport. As a driver, it is a weekend that you need to be at your very best and stayed focused throughout. Monaco is a track where the driver can really make a difference. If you feel comfortable in the car and the car is compliant and turns how you want, you can run close to the barriers and find extra time. That is what happened last year, where I felt good in the car already from the first Practice session. I have very fond memories of this place, especially from the podium finish last year. Without a race in France, this can be considered a bit of a home race for us, alongside Silverstone. Realistically, I do not think we can repeat the performance from last year, but we will give it our all to achieve the best result this weekend.

Pierre Gasly: I definitely had mixed feelings travelling home on Sunday night after Imola. On one side, it's a step in the right direction as I felt very comfortable in the car through Friday and Saturday. It's probably the most dialled in I've been all season so far. I made a small mistake in Qualifying in Q2 when it mattered - I was slightly distracted into the final corners by another car and I misjudged my line. That's on me, and it would have been interesting to see where we would have ended up as my Q1 lap time was very strong and inside the top ten. These are just small things to get right and I know we are getting there as a team. Sunday's race was less positive for us and it exposed our weaknesses across our car package. We lacked pace to really make anything from the race. There's plenty for us to review but clearly not the way we expect things to go. We have an immediate chance to race again this weekend.

It's probably as close as we get to France all season, so while it's not a home race, that's saved for Charles [Leclerc], it does feel special for the team and us drivers in Monaco with so much French support. It's the race I most look forward to on the calendar. It's high risk with high rewards, as we experienced as a team last year. I have some unfinished business on my side from twelve months ago, so I'm definitely ready to get going on track. It's a legendary place. World famous and the most iconic place in motorsport. We're going to work hard to get up to speed as quickly as possible and build up some confidence in the car during Practice. From there, we'll need a bit of magic on Saturday and see where we're at from there. I'm ready for it!

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Published: 21/05/2024
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