Ocon has "never felt" so much downforce in F1 car

Esteban Ocon says he felt more grip than he has ever experienced in a Formula 1 car when he tested the new Renault RS20 in Barcelona on Wednesday morning.

The Frenchman, driving the car in anger for the first time on race tyres after a shakedown on Monday, believes that the 2020 generation of cars will break all lap records this year.

Ocon made the observations when comparing the Renault with the world championship-winning Mercedes W10, which he sampled throughout 2019 in the Brackley team's simulator, and drove at Paul Ricard in a Pirelli tyre test in September.

He also tried last year's Renault over two days in the post-season test in Abu Dhabi.

"There are always differences," he said when asked to compare the new car with the W10. "But to be honest, the amount of grip there is this year already, I think if you take it in account the fastest lap time, we're already faster than the fastest lap time of last year first day.

"So I think the cars are just evolving year-by-year. It's hard to compare, but the amount of grip I feel now I think I've never felt it before."

He added: "I don't know if it's the track, but I drove on Monday in the filming day. And yeah, it's impressive, those new cars, I have to say.

"I've never went that fast in some corners before, so it feels good. It's definitely exciting. Because that's just going to go faster and faster. So we're going to probably break all the records of laptimes I reckon this year."

Read Also:

Asked for his first take on the new car, he said: "It's a good base that we are having at the moment. Sometimes when you step in cars and you think ah, there is an issue that you're trying to solve for the whole winter, there isn't any kind of that at the moment.

"So it feels pretty healthy. But it's only the first morning. We have to wait and see how this evolves during the test."

Ocon stressed that it's important to push hard from the start of testing, despite the risk of mistakes potentially impacting the development programme on the run to the first race.

"You still you still have to push the car. We had a good chat with with Cyril [Abiteboul] and Alain [Prost] about this. It's important that you push the car to have good references to have yourself ready, but also to have proper data because, that's the way you're going to be able to improve the car.

"You can't have the compromise like that. You still have to push it like if there was more time, and hopefully there won't be mistakes.

"I tried to have the first feel. It's not true that I'm just not leaning on it yet. I'm driving, trying to get the rust off of me also. It's been some time since I properly drove a car, which means with somebody next to me, and having references, etcetera. I'm just trying to get back up to speed.

"And it's important to have decent lap times to be able to feel how the car reacts in the race condition or in the in the practice condition."

shares
comments
Russell says new Williams feels "much better" than 2019 car
Previous article

Russell says new Williams feels "much better" than 2019 car

Next article

Latest F1 2020 testing tech updates, straight from the track

Latest F1 2020 testing tech updates, straight from the track
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022