Ocon: Low starting position 'hurt' quest for points

© XPB 

Esteban Ocon says Alpine will need to extract the maximum from its car in qualifying to give itself more margin to achieve a top-ten finish on race day.

Although Fernando Alonso lined up P9 in Bahrain, Ocon launched his race from a lowly 16th after a yellow flag hindered his final hot lap in Q1.

The Frenchman gained a few positions at the outset of last Sunday's race but was ultimately unable to break into the top ten.

Ocon believes it will be crucial moving forward for Alpine to perform better on Saturdays.

"I think if we started further up the road, I think we would be fighting for points, for sure," said the Alpine driver.

"I fought with the Aston Martin of Vettel today and Lance finished in the points. We were fighting with those cars. It’s clear what hurt us was the starting position.

"I think if we were starting inside the top ten, of course, you’re already in the points, but 11th or 12th, that would have been a chance for us to get into the points. But just… [15th], clearly, we don’t have any margin.

"We clearly need to extract the maximum out of the car to do that. We have clear ways of seeing where we are, lacking a little bit of performance or where we have an area to improve.

"We know where it is, it’s up to us to find that and find more pace for the next events. That gives us a bit more margin."

Ocon said that despite teams carrying over their 2020 cars to this season, the move still equated to a big change and to a big loss of downforce compared to lasy season thanks to a series of aero tweaks, the most significant of which has been the imposed reduction of the car's floor.

"Everyone says, it’s a year we keep the same rules, it’s a carryover from last year," he said.

"This is not the reality in fact. In fact, most of the car is new for everybody, for us, for sure, we know what we have on the car.

"Everybody lost a good amount of grip and downforce and everybody is trying to get that back on the car. For sure at the moment with those new rules, everybody is slower, we are as well compared to the car we had last year.

"So we know where to find the time and we know where to recover the lap time. The part of spotting where it is, is done, now we have to do it."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter