Alpine F1 boss Otmar Szafnauer’s one criticism of Esteban Ocon

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer believes Esteban Ocon needs to “make better judgements” when racing his teammates wheel-to-wheel in F1.
(L to R): Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team with Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Alpine F1 Team, Team Principal.. Formula 1 World
(L to R): Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team with Otmar Szafnauer (USA)…

Since making his debut in F1, Ocon hasn’t shied away from getting up and close with his respective teammate.

Ocon collided with Sergio Perez on a number of occasions during their time with Force India in 2017 and 2018.

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Although it wasn’t his fault, Ocon came to blows with Alonso during the sprint race in Sao Paulo last year.

With Ocon teaming up with childhood rival Pierre Gasly in F1 2023, many expect there to be more fireworks at Alpine.

Szafnauer - who has worked with Ocon at Force India and now Alpine - pointed out one area in which the Frenchman needs to improve in.

"He needs to probably make better judgements when his teammates are next to him, because you don't win it on the first lap, teammate or not,” Ocon said.

“And if you're aggressive against a competitor, and you both go out, you both lose. If you're aggressive against the teammate, and you both go out, guess who loses? So it's just that better judgement, and get them later."

Szafnauer added: "It was. If we need reminders, I'm happy to remind him."

 - Qualifying, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Racing Point Force India F1
- Qualifying, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Racing Point Force India F1

Despite his one criticism, the Alpine boss was impressed with how Ocon has “matured” since his days at Force India.

"He's definitely more mature, he added. “He's got a better understanding. I think the thing that really pleases me about Esteban is that under pressure, he often does not make a mistake. I've seen it with him when he won against Vettel. I was there, we had a faster car. And he did not make a mistake.

“He placed his car, driving in his mirrors in the right place, not one mistake, to take the win. I think it was even more impressive for me in wet conditions, drying in Suzuka, not an easy track to drive, with Lewis behind you, in a quicker car the entire time, and you finish ahead of him.

“That to me is impressive. So he's matured, he's got better from that regard. And he is fast. Can he make improvements? Yeah, we will work on getting him better in some areas."

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