World news – Ocon praises the WRC drivers « steel balls » after the car run

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Alpine Formula 1 driver Esteban Ocon says rally drivers have « steel balls » after first gaining experience with the discipline at the Monte Carlo Rally on Thursday.

The French rode on the first In both stages of the season opener of the World Rally Championship an alpine A110S as the official VIP track car with its regular starting number 31.

In recent years, he was the second active F1 driver to drive on Monte after the former Renault Driver Carlos Sainz Jr. the last two stages of the rally in a Megane RS Through car in 2018.

Ocon found that driving the sports car on the slippery, wet roads while being provided with information by a passenger took some getting used to.

His only experience with an Alpine region was his when he lapped the Nürburgring on the Eifel GP weekend last year.

« But yes, I had a great time. I felt more and more comfortable the more I walked through these streets.

 » There is always lots of tricky parts, lots of grip changes and all that. So it’s very different from what I’m used to.

« You have to listen to the passenger too, which is not easy. Get it at the right time, and when If you concentrate in a corner, you can already hear what’s next.

« I did a lot better in the end, and all in all it was a lot of fun. And the car handled really well, so it was really good. « 

When asked what he thought of the regular WRC drivers, he said that now he has even more respect for discipline.

« And it looks fast, it looks well controlled when you see [the seven-time master Sebastien] Ogier when they cut the streets. And it looks cool.

« But when you drive real it looks a lot tighter and a lot harder. So it’s not the same animal when you’re real.

 » I’m telling you, it’s a lot difficult, so honest, hats off to them. They have real balls, steel balls. « 

Magazine: What’s new for F1 in 2021?

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Ref: https://www.autosport.com