Formula 1 | Qatar, a meeting ‘into the unknown’ for Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon recovered the points in Brazil by crossing the checkered flag in eighth position at Interlagos. The Frenchman wants to add more to his counter this weekend for F1’s first visit to Qatar and finish the last triplet on the calendar.
What do you know about the Losail international circuit?
Like almost all the drivers on the grid, it is a rendezvous into the unknown as Formula 1 has never been to Qatar before. Of course, many of us saw MotoGP there, so we have some background on the track with its long straight and fast corners. Features are likely to be quite similar to Bahrain in the sense that it will be windy, dusty, and rolling at night, which is still nice and unique.
How difficult is it to discover a completely new circuit?
New circuits are always a fun challenge. We are all in the same boat as no one has driven F1 on this track and we will have to meet this challenge on the next two events in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. I will use a simulator to prepare myself as well as possible, to have a good understanding of the trajectories and to discover some tips. Learning a new circuit probably puts more emphasis on the drivers since you have to be quickly in the rhythm to find things that might escape the others. It’s a great challenge to take up together.
In what state of mind did you leave Brazil before concluding this triple header?
It was good to put both cars back in points in Brazil. I really enjoyed this very lively race and we had some big battles on the track. We remain fifth in the Constructors’ Championship after the six units scored by Fernando and me. We know that teamwork and consistency will be the key to retaining fifth place until the end of the season. We are looking to the future and focused on achieving this goal. Our immediate objective is to continue the momentum of our double entry in points in Brazil with a good result in Qatar in order to finish this triplet as well as possible.
Nobody knows the exact track, but we want to be in the top 10 again, scoring with both cars, because that’s the only way to handle this battle in the constructors’ championship with AlphaTauri. They’re going to be faster than us, but we’re two to one. We will therefore continue to push to beat them.