Although Esteban Ocon had a weekend to forget at the Bahrain Grand Prix, he came out of the race beaming with optimism.
Ocon's weekend was marred with bad luck throughout. In Q1 on Saturday, the Frenchman was knocked out due to untimely yellow flags. On Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix race, Ocon suffered a late crash with Sebastian Vettel which thwarted an outside bid for points. Although the Frenchman admitted that the team still has work to do, he was happy about fighting other cars throughout the race.
Speaking about his busy race, Esteban Ocon said:
"You didn’t see on TV a lot of the overtaking we did. All I did was fight during the race. It was really nice. It was a race where I really had a smile on my face because we had a great fight with [Yuki] Tsunoda for half the race, but also with [Antonio] Giovinazzi.”
Esteban Ocon also stressed that the untimely yellow flag in qualifying eventually hampered his race on Sunday.
“Before the incident, we were up. Inevitably, Saturday’s qualifying penalized us. If we had started 16th, we would have finished 12th or 11th, close to the points. In the race, we did the best we could. Our pace was pretty good, so it was really qualifying that penalized us."
However, Esteban Ocon still took positives out of the weekend:
“But I take quite a few positives out of it. I was happy with the race even though we are out of the points. There are still a lot of things we need to work on."
Vettel's crash ruined Esteban Ocon's race
Sebastian Vettel thwarted Esteban Ocon's charge late in the race when the four-time world champion locked up and crashed into the back of the Frenchman's Alpine at Turn 1.
Esteban Ocon revealed that Vettel apologized to him directly after the race for the German's mistake. Esteban Ocon didn't want to delve deeper into the incident and said:
"Seb came to apologize after the race. We all make mistakes, and it happens sometimes.”
Alpine did not have the greatest start to their Formula 1 journey. The team was one of four to not take points on the weekend, joining Alfa Romeo, Haas and Williams. Alpine need to work on finding more pace on the car, since they currently stand a few tenths behind the midfield leaders.