Esteban Ocon isn’t concerned about his sharpness on making his Formula 1 racing comeback following a season on the sidelines.

The Renault driver’s last F1 Grand Prix was the 2018 finale in Abu Dhabi as he was left without a 2019 race seat following his exit at Racing Point. The Frenchman became test and reserve driver for Mercedes last year but with no clear path to return to the grid, Ocon cut ties to the reigning F1 world champions to move to Renault for 2020.

With all of his F1 action limited to tests for the past 15 months, the 23-year-old doesn’t anticipate needing any additional time to get up to speed in racing conditions and feels extensive testing with Renault this winter has helped him prepare sufficiently.

“I’m not too far off I feel is a decent level for me. Of course, I’m going to have the next three days to continue that but I feel good in the car, I feel competitive, of course there’s things we can do better but I’m already at a good level where I am now,” Ocon said, having also taken part in the post-season Abu Dhabi test for Renault in December.

“It’s just another step to be even more ready for here, to be even more ready for Australia, it’s so short the days we have.

“I’m still very fresh and I don’t remember being like that in the past as it was more running, more days, so it was very important to get those two days in Au Dhabi. It was the beginning of getting ready for the season so it’s good.”

Shifting focus towards the second and final pre-season test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Ocon’s primary objective is to find a comfortable setup balance with the R.S.20 having struggled with it last week.

“I think we have plenty of things to work on, but of course we have to work on how the car feels balance-wise,” he said. “We are still not where we want to be exactly but there’s nothing we can’t fix.

“What I would like to have is to arrive at the last day of the test and say okay we’ve fixed the balance and it feels decent arriving to Melbourne.”

The second pre-season test takes place at the Spanish Grand Prix venue on February 26-28.

 

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