Formula 1 returnee Esteban Ocon is feeling fresh and competitive ahead of the second week of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
Ocon returns to the grid this season with Renault after a year on the sidelines. The former Force India driver spent 2019 embedded with Mercedes but with no active role apart from simulator work at Brackley and a few days of tyre testing for Pirelli.
Last year’s post-season test at Abu Dhabi provided Oocn with an opportunity to warm up to his new team while last week’s runs at the Circuit de Catalunya offered a better chance to gauge his fitness ahead of his 2020 campaign.
“I’m not too far off I feel is a decent level for me,” he said. “Of course, I’m going to have the next three days to continue that but I feel good in the car, I feel competitive.
“Of course there’s things we can do better but I’m already at a good level where I am now.”
Ocon admits that three days of testing in Barcelona – considering that duties at Renault are split between himself and teammate Daniel Ricciardo – have left him feeling less drained physically than in previous years.
“It’s just another step to be even more ready for here, to be even more ready for Australia, it’s so short the days we have,” he added.
“I’m still very fresh and I don’t remember being like that in the past as it was more running, more days, so it was very important to get those two days in Au Dhabi.
“It was the beginning of getting ready for the season so it’s good.”
After getting acquainted with Renault’s R.S.20 last week, Ocon and his team will start digging a little deeper into his car’s potential, with an emphasis on balance.
“I think we have plenty of things to work on, but of course we have to work on how the car feels balance-wise,” he explained.
“We are still not where we want to be exactly but there’s nothing we can’t fix.
“What I would like to have is to arrive at the last day of the test and say okay we’ve fixed the balance and it feels decent arriving to Melbourne.”