"It's back to war mode": Fernando Alonso's former teammate looks forward to 2024 after 'wasted opportunity' in 2023
Fernando Alonso's former teammate Esteban Ocon is ready to come back stronger in the 2024 season. The French driver did not have a good season in 2023, as he finished 12th in the drivers' championship and only managed one podium.
Alpine also suffered a lot of internal conflicts behind closed doors and DNFs on the track. Nevertheless, Ocon is determined that the team will be back with a bang next year.
Speaking to GPBlog, Ocon noted how the Enstone-based team suffered a lot of DNFs, which hampered their flow:
"We had too many DNFs. That has cost us. I think it's nine DNFs almost in total, probably the most of any drivers. If you remove the issue we have with the gearbox in Singapore, the contact with Oscar in Austin, we could have been in the top 10 in the championship, so that's where it's really a bit of a wasted opportunity.”
Furthermore, the Alpine driver added that from Jan. 2, he will be devoting himself to rigorous training till the first test session of the 2024 season:
“From the 2nd of January until the first test, I will be back fully into training camp. I’m going to be doing it the way I was in 2022, which is (having) no life, flat out, only racing.
"We've been doing a lot of different things and activations outside the track this year. That's going to change next year. Back to war mode and fully focused on the racing side.”
Fernando Alonso's fiery take on Esteban Ocon after incident at 2023 Brazilian GP
In the 2023 F1 Brazilian GP sprint shootout, Esteban Ocon lost control and crashed out of the session.
Since Fernando Alonso was in front of him on a slow lap, he was enraged by the Spaniard. After the sprint race, Alonso said about the incident with Ocon to Soymotor:
"Yes, I heard what that guy said. He’s still very immature and hasn’t changed his way of seeing things, but hey, there are other things that don’t change either. He came out behind me like last year and stayed there, like last year. So it’s all normal."
Fernando Alonso had a good relationship with Ocon at Alpine, but it gradually soured and turned into a sort of rivalry, even after the 42-year-old driver moved to Aston Martin.