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Alpine 'hungry for more' after tough year - Ocon

Alpine 'hungry for more' after tough year - Ocon
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Esteban Ocon says the underperforming Alpine team is "hungry for more" in Formula 1.

Esteban Ocon says the underperforming Alpine team is "hungry for more" in Formula 1.

Having lost Fernando Alonso to Aston Martin over the winter, Ocon got a new teammate in the form of fellow Frenchman Pierre Gasly for 2023 - and the pair were closely matched.

The Renault-linked team, however, was embroiled in management chaos, high-profile sale of shares and a clear performance slip, dropping from fourth overall in 2022 to sixth at the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi recently.

One of the high-profile departures at Alpine this year was highly respected engineer Pat Fry, who said he "didn't feel there was the enthusiasm or desire to progress" at the team's Enstone and Viry HQs.

"Everyone is hungry for more, to continue improving, and that is what we are looking for," Ocon was quoted by the Spanish broadcaster DAZN after the post-season finale test at the same Abu Dhabi circuit - having ended the test with the quickest overall time.

"We keep working and I'm pretty sure good things will come," he added. "I trust that the team will do a good job during the winter."

But while another low-profile midfield team in 2023, Alfa Romeo, had almost an anonymous season, Alpine's troubles punctuated by a few stand-out results - as well as accidents and strings of reliability failures.

27-year-old Ocon, for instance, retired from seven grands prix in 2023 due to technical faults.

"I'm not very happy with the season, that's clear," he admits, having finished 12th overall - one place behind Gasly.

"Unfortunately, we were not consistent enough and we had too many retirements, which has obviously cost us a lot this season," Ocon added.

"Probably we could have been in the top ten of the drivers' championship, perhaps also closer to the next place in the constructors' championship," he said. "But that's how things are."

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