Ocon sees early start with Renault as an advantage for his F1 return in 2020
Esteban Ocon says his early start with Renault in Abu Dhabi is certainly an advantage for him heading into the 2020 F1 season.
As we all know, testing is a highly productive practice in F1, as it helps not only a team but also a driver acclimated to the car. Returning Ocon, though, said that his test in Abu Dhabi with Renault was particularly beneficial as he heads into 2020.
The Frenchman stated this on the basis that it will give him a leg-up when F1's winter testing begins in February this year at Barcelona, due to his extra experience, something which Ocon needs especially after a year out of the cockpit.
"The test is crucial," he said to media including me/FormulaRapida.net. "Definitely, it is going to help me massively, because you arrive to testing in February with an advantage. You have your seat position fixed and you have things that you verified on-track.
"It is great to have the chance for that, and for me I didn't get much driving time this year, and [I'm going] to have even less days in February, it's a big problem. To have those two days in Abu Dhabi, basically counter for the days we are lacking in February."
Ocon is reflecting to the change that F1 is having with the winter testing from 2020, where the two tests will have three days each instead of four. Also, the Frenchman faced issues with his seat in Abu Dhabi, which he hopes will be better by then.
When asked by FormulaRapida.net about his feelings in the two-day test as a full-time race driver as opposed to being a test driver, Ocon dismissed any difference as he feels the work done is same. He added that his first task is to familiarise and then worry about McLaren.
"It's the same work that you are doing," said Ocon. "You're always trying to do your best. Of course, it was the first time with Renault [as a full-time racer], which is pretty exciting and pretty big. Getting to know everyone, but it went pretty smoothly.
"We will see in February how we are against other teams but at the moment I'm just trying to get myself ready for everything, so let's think about that later." Ocon has a big job at Renault in 2020 as he goes up against a formidable teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
[Image courtesy: Renault] [Note: The story was co-written by Duncan Leahy on FormulaRapida.net]