Esteban Ocon talked to the F1 site about the continuation of the season, how he feels about it and what he expects "For everyone, those few months from March, through April and May were very tough with restrictions in place and limitations on almost everything we were doing.
We had to adapt to a new way of life and most of us drivers swapped real racing for the virtual alternative." It is certain that everyone expected the season to continue again and return to the racetracks. One of them is Ocon, who did not hide his satisfaction.
"When we were told things were easing and we were going racing again, it was very exciting, maybe even more so for me after getting so close to jumping in the cockpit for a race again in Australia after over 500 days out of one.
I flew home on that Sunday without knowing when I’d have the chance again. I was, however, preparing as if we were going to race at any opportunity, so I was ready for an immediate start whenever Formula 1 decided it was safe to do so."
"It was great to travel again for a Grand Prix weekend. It felt a bit different but we quickly adapted and got used to these things. I think regular Covid-19 testing is a good thing. Looking at the world we’re living in at the moment, we have to be safe and confident.
It’s not nice when you do a test, it can be painful, but there are worse things."
COVID also influenced the rules to change. Now in F1, they have to wear masks and keep their distance. It will probably be unusual, but still positive because it will prevent a possible infection.
"There was definitely a different feeling in the paddock with mask-wearing, keeping a distance with the mechanics and engineers, and disinfecting everything with gel all the time.
I don’t think it’s too different from what I do at home, really. It’s a new way of living at the moment. I’m getting used to it and most importantly, these measures mean we can do our sport in the safest way.
I’m happy to do anything to keep ourselves safe and the sport going." Ocon did not hide his disappointment because the results were not achieved as expected. However, now after winning points after the race, he feels happier "To come away from the first race with points was very positive, especially at a circuit where the team has struggled in the past.
I won’t hide the fact that I was disappointed after qualifying. It was not where we wanted to be, even if it was my first qualifying in 18 months. For the race, I think we knew anything could happen. It was a strange one with a number of cars retiring and points up for grabs if we kept in it and put together two decent stints, which we managed to achieve.
As has been a trend for the team, if we want to fight for the higher positions – which we know we have the pace to do so – we need to be higher up the grid. Still, four points after a season out was pleasing and I had the motivation for more for the second Austria race."