Ocon completes first Alpine laps

Esteban Ocon in the A521

Alpine has registered its first Formula 1 laps with its freshly launched A521 car, with Esteban Ocon behind the wheel for a filming day at Silverstone.

Limited to 100km of running, the Frenchman clocked 16 laps around the revered British circuit – despite morning fog causing a short delay.

Contesting his second season with the squad previously known as Renault, Ocon was pleased with his first impressions of the new blue-liveried machinery.

“It was really good fun today,” said the 24-year-old.

“First of all, it was nice to get in the car again at a track like Silverstone as that’s always something special.

“The car felt nice to drive for the first time and we managed to get through our programme as planned.

“There was a bit of a delay this morning with the fog, but once that cleared, the track was dry and that made the running very enjoyable.

“I wish I could drive for more than 100km, but that’s the limit, and I leave here with a smile on my face.

“We want to take that into Bahrain next week when conditions will be more representative with the race tyres and some heat.

“All in all, it was a very interesting day and I can’t wait to discover more about the car.

“I have to say, I love the new colours. It’s the best looking car on the grid!”

It’s a big season for Ocon, after he was comprehensively outperformed by 2020 team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

With Ricciardo moving to McLaren for 2021, Ocon’s task in the internal head-to-head stakes hardly gets much easier, with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso now alongside him.

Alonso will get his first taste of the A521 at the Bahrain pre-season test across March 12-14.

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