“Estie bestie is on the podium baby” - Esteban Ocon jubilant after finishing P3 in the Monaco GP
After just missing out in qualifying, Esteban Ocon drove a beautiful race to secure his first podium of the 2023 F1 season this weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix. He became the only driver outside of Red Bull, Aston Martin, and Ferrari to have stood on the podium this season.
Ocon thus gave Alpine a much-needed push in the constructors' standings. The fact that the 26-year-old managed to secure the result for his French constructors at the iconic Circuit de Monaco was only the cherry on the top.
In a post-race media interaction, Esteban Ocon reflected on the session and relished the result, describing the weekend as "superb."
"Estie bestie is on the podium baby! We've done it. What a superb weekend from everyone at the team. We improved the car from beginning to end and we didn't make a wrong step at any time - even when we put the inters on, it was the perfect lap.
"It's been a while since I've been on the podium and I hope this is the first of many. I touched the wall enough yesterday, I didn't have to today."
His Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly finished in P7, giving Alpine a near-perfect weekend, given the team's current standing.
Esteban Ocon now feels "confident" in his Alpine
Esteban Ocon set an impressive pace at the Monaco Grand Prix qualifying session this weekend. He admitted that the feeling in the car is progressively improving, hinting at the possibility of the French team starting to climb up in the midfield.
In a post-qualifying media interview, the Frenchman said:
“I don’t know, I get a better exit there, I get a little bit cooler temperature from the tyres in the last couple of corners… you never know. But I think it was pretty well maximised.
“If before the weekend [we know] that we’d be in the top five, already we would have signed up. But it’s even better than that, less than two-tenths away.”
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He added that he has started to gain confidence in his Alpine, allowing him to go all out. This was certainly reflected in the race result today.
“I felt confident in the car, being able to push a lot harder than usual. I’ve hit the wall very, very hard a couple of times but that definitely gave us a good amount of lap time. So I’m very pleased with how we’ve built everything.”
Esteban Ocon also got voted 'Driver of the Day' in Monaco this weekend. Overall, it was a very fruitful race for Alpine.