Esteban Ocon is not happy with qualifying 12th …
Question: How was your day?
Esteban Ocon: It all started well – with a good practice and the first part of qualification. We were very pleased with the results and progress with the machine. But in the second part of the qualification, I could not get the maximum out of it.
I drove my first fast lap unsuccessfully and should have added on the second, but it didn’t work out. The results were so dense that it depended on every little thing whether you would make it to the next session.
I did not perform in the best way in the second part of qualification, but I still have chances in the race. I can choose the tires to start. We have no information on how long the tires will take in the race. It’s pretty chilly here – that might give us a chance.
Q: This weekend with you Fernando Alonso. Did you have the opportunity to talk?
Esteban Ocon: Yes, we talked. I said that I watched a series about him on Amazon and we discussed his performances in Dakar. When we work, he is interested in how things are going.
Fernando is preparing for next year. He gets to know the team again, and if we see him more often, that’s okay. Together we participated in several engineering briefings and meetings, he tested the car – his comments on various things were very useful to us. Having three opinions instead of two is always good and important for engineers.
Q: The times of many riders have been canceled due to violation of the boundaries of the track. What do you think about keeping the track boundaries in Imola?
Esteban Ocon: My workout time was also deleted. This happens to me extremely rarely. This time it happened in the morning practice when I drove along the edge of the track. I thought that I had not gone abroad, but this was not the case.
Between training and qualifying, the rule was changed – the FIA decided that the border of the track should be considered the curb, and not the white line. It’s good that they showed flexibility.
Q: There was an assumption that the car works differently here than in Portugal, because here the asphalt is old. How will this affect the race?
Esteban Ocon: The grip is much better here than in Portimao. Rubber and car work more efficiently. The cornering speed is indeed much higher and the balance is better than in Portimao. It’s like night and day.
But since this is a fast lane, it can be difficult to chase opponents. Regardless of the development of events in the race, tomorrow everyone will definitely talk about tires and strategy. Here it is more important than the fight on the track. Maybe I’m wrong.