“There’s a good atmosphere in the team. Of course, it has been a tough weekend for us last year here. So we’re going to try and push to turn that around and continue our improvements.”
He admitted that even the team was surprised by the pace in Portimão: “We were for sure. But I think it’s all that searching, all those little things that we are finding session after sessions, days after days, and the feedback that we are giving, me and Fernando, we are on the same route.
“So it’s very clear for the team to analyse, what we are saying, because we are saying the same thing. So it’s working really well at the moment. And that’s good news.
“I think the car in terms of balance was really nice to drive on the tricky track with very low grip. I think our stability was pretty decent, from entry of the corners to the mid-corner. Everybody was struggling a bit in traction. But I think it gave us the confidence to push it in quali, and in the race it was working well.
“We brought some upgrades but in Imola, we didn’t make the step that we wanted, in Portimão with the time that we had in between those two races, the understanding and optimising and keeping on fine-tuning those little parts made a difference in the end.
“And we felt a lot better there. So, I think it’s understanding and to have some new parts that made the difference. But of course we probably still have some margin on optimising the car, and I hope we will have more under our belts.”
He also made an intriguing comment about prospects for the updates in Barcelona: “Well if they translate here, I think it’s going to be a good season for us. So it’s going to be a very important weekend.”
A couple of days later Ocon and the team had their answer as the package did indeed work well in Spain, that strong slow corner form helping through the twisty stuff at the end of the lap.