Renault’s Esteban Ocon says he reckons the team took a slight misstep with their car configuration for Thursday morning’s testing session.
Esteban Ocon was on track on Thursday morning for his penultimate testing session before the 2020 season begins. The French driver completed 37 laps with a best time over a second down on the top time set by Sebastian Vettel, and he said he believed the team had gone slightly the wrong direction with understanding their car over the course of the morning.
“I think there’s still for us to be where we want to be, there is still this afternoon for Daniel and an afternoon for me tomorrow, so we have a bit of time.” said Ocon after he stepped out of the car. “Today, we made a little bit of a step back, we’re not exactly where we want to be and we didn’t improve the car as much as we wanted. We have plenty of data to analyse and tomorrow will take another direction. The car has been really good in previous days so I’m not too worried.”
“There is always work with balance. I think today we went in the wrong direction with it and the balance was worse than it was in previous days. So we’ll get back to a decent balance later today and for tomorrow.”
With the entire field struggling for grip in the cold and damp conditions, Ocon said it was key to get on track in the blustery wind and figure out how the Renault handled in less than ideal weather: “You need to find out how the car works in the wind, because most of time conditions aren’t perfect at a race weekend. So we need to make it worst the best, but it’s the same for everyone. 80% of the time, qualifying will be too windy or too warm or too cold…it’ll never be perfect.”
Asked about whether the increased downforce of the 2020 cars was being hampered by the wind, he said: “We are going so fast in high speed corners so a little bit of wind can be a big drama. But I don’t think it’s any more than it used to be. It’s cold, it’s slippery at the sides, and that makes it more difficult than it should be. We saw some spins this morning but it’s just that it’s slippery at the sides of the track.”