Alpine will field a brand-new chassis for Esteban Ocon at Silverstone in a bid to help the Frenchman improve his performances after a series of difficult races.
Ocon failed to exit Q1 in both of F1’s rounds held at the Red Bull Ring where he was comprehensively outpaced by teammate Fernando Alonso in qualifying and on race day.
Ocon concluded his Styrian Grand Prix a lowly P14 but didn’t make it beyond the opening lap in the Austrian Grand Prix after he was sandwiched at the start between Mick Schumacher and Antonio Giovinazzi.
After assessing his recent slump, the Alpine charger reckoned there was something wrong going on under the skin of his A521 and he requested a major overhaul of his car to try and get to the bottom of his performance issues.
But Alpine has gone one better and simply replaced Ocon’s chassis for this week’s British Grand Prix.
“Esteban had two difficult races in Austria and we’re still investigating whether there are any technical reasons behind it,” explained the team’s executive director Marcin Budkowski;
“To eradicate any doubt, the team has made the decision to make extensive changes to his car for Silverstone, including a new chassis.
“Esteban performed very strongly at the start of the season and qualified the car on the third row of the grid on merit at two races in a row just a few weekends ago, so we are working together to make sure he bounces back, and this weekend is the perfect opportunity to do that.”
Ocon sees next weekend’s round at Silverstone – a very different layout compared to Austria – as a welcomed reset and an opportunity to get his 2021 campaign back on track.
“It’s good that we’re heading to a completely different circuit, taking on a new challenge and having a reset,” he said.
“The team and I have been working very hard behind the scenes to see what we can do to improve our performance.
“I know we’ll come back to the level we had at the start of the season and the hard work will only continue until we achieve that and even go beyond. I’m really motivated for a good result this weekend.”
On the topic of Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying event, Ocon says the short race will undoubtedly “bring a new dynamic” to the weekend.
“I’m interested to see how it will unfold,” he said. “Before that, though, we have to plan a productive Free Practice and then make sure we’re as far up the grid as possible in qualifying on the same day.
“It’s going to be different to usual, but I like the idea and I’m looking forward to seeing how it will go.”