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Ocon: ‘The 2022 car kind of looked like a toy’

Alpine unveiled their new A523 car this past Thursday in London.

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Esteban Ocon says the level of detail on the new 2023 A523 car makes the 2022 car look like a ‘toy’. The attention to mechanical detail makes him hopeful for a successful season.

The A523 debuted in two liveries, pink and blue and solid pink. (Image Credit: Sky Sports)

The launch of the new Alpine F1 car to Ocon was one that highlighted details. The Frenchman spoke about how deeply thought through the A523’s design was. As compared to the A522, this is another level.

“It’s a good evolution compared to last year. I’m a very mechanical guy, I like to get close to the bodywork, and close to the suspension side of things, and have a look deeply into how parts are made.

“And if I have to be honest, the 2022 car kind of looked like a toy, in comparison to what we have now. 

“So, the level of details and how nice the parts are made, in terms of weight-saving, in terms of solutions in the cockpit and everything, everything looks like proper race car spec.

“It’s very impressive, I have to say, the details in everything, how the body work goes together and how all the parts are made. It’s very nice.

“And that’s first good for reliability, but second means that the team took a step up again. It was a step from ’21 to ’22. And now it’s a huge step again in ’23. So we’ll see if that translates to performance, but already it is a step. That’s what I can see.”

Alpine’s successful last season

Alpine finished P4 in the Constructors Championship with 173 points. Though they didn’t get any podium finishes in 2022, they were still consistent enough to outscore McLaren. Ocon said the target is to close the gap between third and fourth in the championship.

“It was close. We finished fourth in Japan, fifth in Red Bull Ring. There was not a lot missing, and with a worse car in 2021 we won a race, and we finished third in one. So everything’s possible.

“But yes, as a target itself it can sound similar to say we want to finish fourth, but the gap from fourth to third is huge, at the moment it was about 300 points or something, in the constructors’.

“If we can be fourth but try and get much closer to third, and maybe fight for third, that’s a completely different dimension. You enter into top five finishes, into podium territories.

“So obviously, it’s a very high target that we’re setting ourselves, continuing the regulations, but we have to set ourselves that target.

“We’re very ambitious, we are competitors, that’s what we want to achieve. But in F1, everything can happen. And we hope there’s going to be surprises.”

Race-winning car?

When asked about the winning abilities of the A523, Ocon said that realistically it wouldn’t happen, but you can rule it out.

“Realistically, I don’t think that’s where we set ourselves. Obviously, if we put the car in Bahrain, and it’s super performing, we can speak after Bahrain, yes.

“At the moment, I don’t think that is realistic. But we’ll see. There could be surprises in F1. We’ve seen it in the past, we were not expecting the Brawn to be a winning car in 2009.”

Featured Image Credit: Alpine 

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