Esteban Ocon making sacrifices as he dreams of joining Hamilton and Verstappen fight

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Estaban Ocon has a strong ambition of joining Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the front of the grid. The Alpine star has said that he and team-mate Fernando Alonso have been making sacrifices in a bid to try and launch a title offensive. 

Hamilton and Verstappen were way ahead of the rest of the grid in 2021, with the latter winning his first ever world championship. 

Mercedes’ Hamilton was controversially denied a record eighth title following a contentious finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.  

Nobody outside of Mercedes or Red Bull finished within 200 points of the dominant pair, whose rivalry was the highlight of the 2021 season.  

However, Ocon – who won the Hungarian Grand Prix in August – has said that he and Alonso are trying to compete with Hamilton and Verstappen.

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The Frenchman has revealed that he has sacrificed holidays to spend more time in the Alpine factory. 

 

“It would be fantastic to be able to fight for wins and podiums all the time. Hopefully, Formula One will go that way and with the new regulations, this seems like a dream. Hopefully it will become a reality. 

“I work very hard. Fernando [Alonso] and I don’t take a lot of vacation. The goal is to spend as much time in the factory as possible.”

He added: “I want to take it to an even higher level next year. 

“I’m happy with how we ended the season. We rode well, had good conversations and continued to improve me as a sportsman. As an athlete I’m looking for that. 

“As a team we are honest with each other. If the guys think I am If I need to do something better, I’d like to hear it.  

“They shouldn’t be hesitant about that, because that’s exactly why I can take a new step. It’s the small details.” 

It comes after McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo admitted that he is ‘envious’ of the battle between Hamilton and Verstappen. 

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“Of course, I’m envious. But I’ve been envious for eight, nine years. It’s nothing new, but of course, it’s exciting the thought of it,” Ricciardo said. 

“For me like everyone, I’m a fan, I’m a driver, but I’m still a fan of the sport. It’s been great and take the envy aside, it’s awesome for F1 to have the battle. 

“I can’t recall a year where two guys found themselves side by side on so many races. 

“I feel like 75 per cent of races they’d gone wheel to wheel at some point, so it’s pretty awesome.”
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