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Ocon reflects on valuable lessons from Hamilton as he eyes future in F1

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) As Esteban Ocon prepares to depart Alpine at the end of the season, the French racer has shared insightful reflections on his time working alongside seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Ocon’s journey, marked by highs and lows, has been deeply intertwined with the Brackley-based Mercedes squad, where he was a junior team member, GP3 titleholder, and later the F1 team's reserve driver in 2019.

In a conversation with the High Performance Podcast, Ocon opened up about the moments that left him "amazed" while working with Hamilton. This period followed a challenging phase for Ocon, who lost his seat at Force India after the 2018 season but found solace and learning opportunities at Mercedes. Now, as he navigates his fifth and final season with Alpine, Ocon's career management by Mercedes keeps him linked to the powerhouse team.

Reflecting on his time as Mercedes' reserve driver, Ocon shared how Hamilton's dedication and professionalism stood out beyond his natural talent. "I remember Lewis coming from different marketing events and all these things in a race weekend – Lewis is a very busy man," Ocon recounted. "Apart from racing, that’s some of the differences compared to some drivers who are more focused on the racetrack. Seeing how he switches his focus from one thing to another amazed me. He was straight away on point, back with his engineer after something completely different."

What impressed Ocon the most was Hamilton’s ability to seamlessly transition between his numerous off-track commitments and the intense focus required for racing. Hamilton’s meticulous approach, including maintaining paper boards with notes, left a lasting impact on Ocon. "He always had his paper boards with notes and he was always having notes not to forget things from one year to another, or one session to another. This is what I do as well now."

Admitting that he had never taken notes before observing Hamilton, Ocon now follows a similar practice, storing meticulous notes on his phone for his engineers. "Performance meetings, problems to fix, all of the points that we have to go through that I’ve put basically as an example," Ocon explained. "If I don’t write them at the exact moment that I’m going to come out of the car, I will not remember exactly or they’re going to be much more vague."

Ocon's adoption of Hamilton’s strategies underscores the profound influence the champion has had on his career. "If I go to a marketing event and then come back and I’m like, ‘I had something very interesting, but I don’t remember it,’ imagine how much that would cost basically – to us, to our performance."

--IANS

hs/


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