Positive frame of mind
Esteban Ocon is looking ahead to the Miami Grand Prix weekend on the circuit where he climbed from the back of the pack to the points last year. It’s not been plain sailing for Esteban and the team in recent races as he looks for an immediate response to the frustration in Baku this weekend.
How is the team aiming to bounce back following the disappointing weekend in Baku?
After a very challenging weekend in Baku, the target for us here in Miami is making a strong comeback. We’ve debriefed and we are ready to take the learnings and move forward. It was a frustrating few days where many things didn’t go right and it is clear we cannot afford more weekends like this. The whole team is glad to have the chance put things right so soon after Baku and we are ready to tackle the Miami Grand Prix weekend head on.
Will the team do anything differently after a two challenging race weekends?
It is true that results haven’t quite been there but we know that we’ve got the pace, and we showed that in Australia. The upgrades we brought last weekend work but we need to find better ways of optimising them. We’ll keep working hard to better understand how to maximise our car and we know the team has no choice but to deliver better performances and I am confident that we will get there. I personally am looking forward to getting back in the car in Miami and start the weekend strongly.
What are your thoughts on Miami, after our first experience here last year?
It’s such a great city! Last year, the whole weekend was intense and exciting both on and off the track. It was my first time ever in Miami last year and I have some good memories of the city and, of course, of the race when I managed to come back and finish in eighth place after starting from the back. The track itself is a nice combination of slow-speed technical sections and fast and flowing sequences, so it’s a good challenge for teams and drivers. We are definitely happy to be back in Miami where the atmosphere is always electric and we hope to put on a good show for all the passionate fans.
Not giving in
Pierre Gasly is keen to quickly move forwards after a weekend in Baku tinged with bitter misfortune and a disappointing end result. Pierre is determined for an immediate shot at redemption as Formula 1 heads Stateside for the second Miami Grand Prix under the backdrop of the immense Hard Rock Stadium.
What is your summary of the weekend in Baku?
Clearly, it was a very poor weekend and one we are all keen to quickly move on from. We were on the backfoot from Friday and from there we made it difficult for ourselves to be in contention to score points. When this type of weekend happens, it’s important to debrief both collectively and accurately to best understand all the things we could have done better with the sole aim of ensuring we avoid any kind of repeat at all future races.
How much are you looking forward to racing in Miami this weekend?
It’s good we have an immediate opportunity to bounce back in Miami this weekend. It’s a more conventional circuit with the normal format and we must be on it from lap one on Friday to put ourselves in a much stronger position to compete higher up the grid for the remainder of the weekend. After two disappointing races at the last two events, I’m so determined to put it right this weekend and return to the top ten as a minimum target.
What were your impressions of Miami’s Grand Prix debut last year?
Well, it’s a very cool venue with an awesome vibe and I definitely enjoyed being there last season. Miami, in general, is a place I like to visit throughout the year anyway so it’s really good that we race there in Formula 1. I have a bit of unfinished business in Miami after what happened in 2022 with an unfortunate retirement in the race, so let’s see what we can do this weekend and come away with a positive team result.
Miami Grand Prix Factfile
Driver and Team Facts and Stats: Miami
• In the 2022 Miami Grand Prix Esteban gained a total of 12 positions to go from the back of the grid to a points finish in eighth place. Gaining nine of these positions on track he equaled Alex Albon as the two drivers to have gained the most positions on track in the race. This is the best-ever result for an Alpine car when starting at the back of the grid in a Grand Prix.
• The 2023 Miami Grand Prix will be the second race held in the Sunshine State and the 74th Formula 1 race to be held on US soil.
• Although it is a temporary track around the grounds of the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami Autodrome will see drivers reach extremely high speeds. In last year’s race, Esteban reached 343.7 km/h (213.6 mph).
• At 5.412km the Miami Autodrome runs exactly the same distance as the Bahrain International Circuit and will run for the same number of laps (57), however, with four more corners the configuration of the track means that each driver will make 228 more turns in the race than they did in Bahrain.
• Circuit Lap record: 1:28.796 (Leclerc, 2022).
Further Facts and Stats
• Renault made their first appearance in F1 at the 1977 British Grand Prix, but the company’s first points as an F1 constructor came on American soil, when Jean-Pierre Jabouille finished fourth at Watkins Glen in 1978, also scoring the first points for a turbocharged F1 engine.
• Pierre is the only driver on the grid to have gained positions on the first lap of every race in the 2023 season, and just for good measure he also gained a place on the first lap of the sprint event in Baku.