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Ocon: Alpine can rely on me in tough moments

Ocon: Alpine can rely on me in tough moments

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Ocon: Alpine can rely on me in tough moments

Ocon: Alpine can rely on me in tough moments

Esteban Ocon believes Alpine can now trust him in difficult moments to "do a good job" following his maiden podium in Sakhir last season.

Ocon returned to Formula 1 with last year, the team then racing as Renault, and struggled to match team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in the early stages of the season.

However, the Frenchman soon found his feet, weaving his way into the midfield battle with Ricciardo and capping the season with a second-place finish in the penultimate race of the year.

This time around Ocon will race alongside Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard returning to F1 after a two-year absence, but Ocon insisted he never felt pressure to deliver headline-grabbing results in his return year.

"I didn't feel the pressure of having to make a result or having to have an incredible race," he said.

"It's clear, I hope, that now the team can truly say they rely on me in tough moments and if we are in difficult moments, I can be strong in the race and do a good job."

A management shakeup over the winter saw Cyril Abiteboul leave his role of team principal and Ocon praised the abilities of his former boss.

"I had a chat with Cyril just before the [Sakhir] race," he recalled. "Cyril, even in the tough moments was very supportive of me, very positive and always giving me good advice.

"That is good when it comes from the bosses just before you go in the car, you are relaxed, you are confident.

"Just before the race, he came and said 'look, it is going to be an interesting race, we are going to have a cool strategy to come up so you are going to have a strong one. Take your time, good luck'. That is all he said. I didn't feel the pressure."

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