Renault Power Unit a ‘Good Asset’ for BWT Alpine F1 Team – Esteban Ocon

Despite reliability issues during the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, Esteban Ocon feels the BWT Alpine F1 Team have a ‘good asset’ with the Renault power unit, and he can only see it getting better.

Alpine and Renault opted to focus on performance ahead of reliability ahead of a planned development freeze on performance ahead of the 2022 season until 2025.  Subsequent changes can only be made to the engine to fix reliability issues, so Alpine will have the chance to solve some or all of those problems they faced ahead of the 2023 campaign.

Ocon believes the power unit is already strong, and if they can sort the reliability concerns that affected both him and team-mate Fernando Alonso in 2022, then he and his new team-mate Pierre Gasly can expect a strong season to come in 2023.

“I think it’s very good, it’s one of our good assets,” Ocon is quoted as saying by PlanetF1.com.  “As we’ve seen in Brazil we had good straight-line speed, very good, I was quite impressed with that, we were able to do good overtakes.

“I don’t have the numbers, I’m not really too curious on that side, I let the engineer look at that, but it’s definitely working well.”

Ocon felt he grew as a driver in 2022, believing he got the most out of the car more often than he had in previous seasons, and he will go into 2023 with extra confidence of more growth to come.

“On a personal note, I feel I’ve made a step on a lot of things,” added Ocon.  “I feel like I’ve been getting the maximum out of the car more times than I did last year.

“On many more occasion I’ve been able to plan things, see things earlier in the simulator, and get more ready early on in the season.”

2023 will mark Ocon’s fourth year with the Enstone-based team having joined in 2020, but he feels more relaxed under the teams’ current management set-up than he has done previously.

Otmar Szafnauer is the current Team Principal of Alpine, with the American working under Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi and Renault Group Chief Luca de Meo.

And Ocon feels this current set up has made him feel more relaxed than in the previous regime that included the likes of Marcin Budkowski and Davide Brivio acting as executive director and racing director respectively and jointly running the team.

“I went to Enstone for the first time in 2010, so twelve years ago, and it’s crazy, I’ve seen a lot of change,” said Ocon to Motorsport.com.  “We are obviously settled for a long time, which feels great.

“We have great leadership with Otmar, with Laurent, with Luca. I think it’s a fantastic team.  They are giving us positive pressure. It’s not the bad pressure, you need to perform otherwise it would be over. It’s completely different. It’s the passion of racing, of motorsport.

“Since Laurent, Luca and Otmar have joined, I feel definitely more relaxed and I feel good. That’s why I should be super calm.”