It was a huge effort from Esteban Ocon to manage his tyres for over 50 laps last weekend as he scored four points in Portugal. Now the Frenchman returns to Imola, the venue where he secured the Formula 3 title over six years ago.
What do you know about Imola?
I raced there in 2014 in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship. I have very good memories from that weekend, as it’s when I won the title with one round to go. I won the first race from pole position, finished fourth in the second race and then on the podium again in the final race. I’d say Imola is actually one of my favourite circuits and I can’t wait to drive a Formula 1 car there – it will be extra special. I also love racing in Italy, my heart has a big place for this country.
What’s a lap like there?
The track itself has some interesting combination of corners with awesome character to them, such as Acque Minerale. It’s slightly downhill, quite fast and then climbs up. There are a lot of changes of angle at this track and that’s what makes it so characteristic. It has special kerbs too and types of chicanes that we do not see all year. As a driver, you love these combination of corners as it’s the most rewarding thing. Imola should have more grip [than Portugal] as the track hasn’t been resurfaced for a long time and it’s used regularly by other series.
What are your post-Portugal thoughts?
It was good for the team to have both cars in the points as it was quite a challenging weekend for us. We’ll analyse why we weren’t quite as quick as we have been in recent weeks and look to find improvements for Imola where we aim for a better result. On my side, I was really satisfied to do over 50 laps on the same set of tyres. It was really well managed by the team and I’m happy with how everything went during the race.