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Alpine 'unafraid' of joining Mercedes-Red Bull battle

Alpine 'unafraid' of joining Mercedes-Red Bull battle

F1 News

Alpine 'unafraid' of joining Mercedes-Red Bull battle

Alpine 'unafraid' of joining Mercedes-Red Bull battle

Esteban Ocon believes Alpine's strong performances last year mean the team can mix it with the "top teams without being afraid" this season.

Alpine endured a mixed season of results despite finishing fifth in the constructors' standings and returning to the top step of the podium for the first time since 2013.

At the Hungarian Grand Prix, the scene of Ocon's maiden F1 victory, and in Qatar, however, the team proved it could take advantage of the misfortune of others to score strong results.

These strong points returns proved the operational capability of the team with Ocon claiming this stands Alpine in good stead should he and team-mate Fernando Alonso be delivered a strong package for the coming campaign.

Asked in a post-season media briefing including GPFans in December if the results of 2021 gave him confidence heading into the new season, Ocon explained: "Yes, definitely.

"This is what we wanted to do. We knew we didn't have the fastest car, we didn't have the fastest package overall to be fighting there at the front, but as soon as there was an opportunity, we were there to be able to take them.

"Qatar, Saudi, Budapest, almost Sochi for Fernando."

The last time the Enstone-based team tasted championship success was 2006, then racing as Renault, when Alonso scored the second of his back-to-back titles and Ocon is eager to again place the outfit amongst front-runners Mercedes and Red Bull.

“We wanted to operationally be on top of our games and we did so last year," added Ocon.

"And I think we can be proud of that because that means that when we're going to have a fast car we can be fighting up there with the top cars and the top teams without being afraid.”

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