Ocon: Milestone centennial race in F1 'felt like a win'


Esteban Ocon's fifth place finish in the Austrian Grand Prix went a bit under the radar, but it was a solid drive by the Alpine driver and a season-best on his 100th start in Formula 1.

Ocon relied on a two-stop strategy that put him at the head of the midfield just behind a quarter of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes drivers.

While uneventful, the Frenchman's race, coupled with teammate Fernando Alonso run to P10, delivered a total of 14 points to Alpine which now positions the Enstone squad level with McLaren in the Constructors' standings.

"It was a perfect weekend in terms of performance and how we've optimised the result," said Ocon at the end of the day.

"It's not a win, but it feels like a win, because there was nothing better that we could have done from qualifying, to the Sprint to now.

"There was some hope that I could have kept George [Russell] behind, but after the Virtual Safety Car restart he was just too fast, so there was no possibility to keep him under control and behind.

"Thirteen points, and we obviously are tied with McLaren now in the Constructors' Championship."

Ocon underscored the benefit of Alpine's latest updates while the team's performance level bodes well for the Frenchman's home race at Paul Ricard next week.

"It's very positive," Ocon said. "I'm very happy to see that the one that we brought to Silverstone made quite a difference – we can really see it now. I hope the next ones are going to be as big.

"We still have work to do to be able to perform against the Mercedes, because they are still too fast, so if the team can bring more of this stuff, we will take it!

"I go to France with confidence and the team goes there with good confidence, and I have no doubt we will perform also there."

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