Esteban Ocon has vowed to revert to “war mode” next year after viewing his 2023 Formula 1 season with Alpine as a “wasted opportunity”.
Ocon’s fourth year at Enstone proved a struggle as he suffered several retirements over the season, completing the fewest laps of any driver in 2023.
Despite Alpine slipping two places in the constructors’ championship, Ocon still grabbed a well-earned podium in Monaco and a fourth place finish in Las Vegas from 16th on the grid.
But his string of non-finishes has left Ocon ruing how many points were lost during the year, as he finished behind team-mate Pierre Gasly in the drivers’ championship.
“I think there’s been some very good things, some very good opportunities that we took,” Ocon said, as quoted by Motorsport.com. “But the consistency overall hasn’t been there.
“And we had too many DNFs. That has cost us, I think it’s nine DNFs in total, probably the most of any drivers.
“If you remove the issue we had with the gearbox in Singapore, and the contact with Oscar [Piastri] in Austin, we could have been in the top 10 in the championship. So that’s why it’s a little bit of a wasted opportunity.”
Ocon boosted his reputation in F1 when he outscored double world champion Fernando Alonso when the pair were team-mates at Alpine in 2022 before Alonso left to join Aston Martin.
After the countless on-track setbacks this year, Ocon stressed he would be putting more time and effort on his racing to ensure he and Alpine would bounce back with a vengeance in 2024.
“From January 2 until the first test I will be back fully into training camp,” he said. “I’m going to be more doing the way I was doing it in 2022, which is no life, flat out, only racing. We’ve been doing a lot of different things and activations outside the track this year.
“That’s going to change next year. It’s back to war mode and fully focused on the racing side. Before that there’s going be the Christmas party of the team, there’s going be some simulator work.
“I’m going be able to have a couple of days seeing my family that I haven’t seen for a while. We’re going to have some good times with friends, with Mick [Schumacher], with all my friends in December as well, and then it’s fully focused on next year.”