Ocon: Dry race at Imola would have been 'a different story'

ยฉ XPB 

Esteban Ocon opened up Alpine's 2021 score at Imola last weekend thanks to a P9 finish, but the Frenchman reckons his race would have been a very different story had it taken place in the dry.

Ocon crossed the checkered flag as the last driver in the points but gained a position in the final standings following the belated post-race demotion of Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen to P13.

Ocon was among four drivers on the grid who started the Emilia Romagna GP on full wet tyres. However, the strategic decision didn't pay off for those outliers who were forced to pit for intermediates when conditions improved.

ยฉAlpine

The Alpine driver swapped tyres after the opening lap under the Safety Car regime triggered by a crash by Williams' Nicholas Latifi, fighting back from P19 to conclude his day just inside the points after dicing with teammate Fernando Alonso in the second half of the race.

"We had good fights together with Fernando โ€“ it was good fun. I feel like there was potentially more on the table, the pace was good inside the Top 10," Ocon said.

"We could probably have done P7, P8, get in that group, but you know thatโ€™s how it is today. We get the reward with one point and will get more with the next one."

At Imola, Alpine fielded a car that sported several updates but Ocon admitted that the tricky conditions mitigated the improvements.

"I think on the dry, it was performing quite well," he added. "Thatโ€™s why I said the opportunities for P7, P8 were there definitely, today.

"If it had been a straightforward race in the dry it would have been a different story, but thatโ€™s not where we ended up today, so we need to keep working."

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