Esteban Ocon says "there's no point in racing" if his Alpine team doesn't believe it can emulate midfield rival Aston Martin and find a big step in performance.

Aston Martin has been the surprised package of 2023's opening trio of races with Fernando Alonso taking three consecutive podiums in a much improved car after the team struggled in 2022.

While the Silverstone team's progress has been a blow to every other team that has been thumped down the pecking order, it has also shown them that it's still possible to make a giant leap from one season to the next within the confines of the budget cap.

"We have to in our mind think it is possible, otherwise there's no point racing," Ocon said when asked if Alpine can replicate Aston Martin's progress.

"If you think about it, we finished the season in December and when we restarted it was end of February, beginning of March. So it's about three, four months.

"I don't know if Aston would have been able to do so in-season but if you take three or four months, it's not the end of the season.

"Aston Martin has shown, and fair play to them, that it is possible to make a big step if you find the right things, so it is doable."

Esteban Ocon at Australian GP 2023

Ocon has been buoyed by Alpine's development plans, with the Enstone team bringing a substantial update to the next race in Baku at the end of April.

"I'm at the factory at least one or two days a week," Ocon said.

"I've been to the aero department, I've seen the future drawings, I've seen future concepts of the car, what we are going to bring to the car. And there are some really interesting ideas.

"It is interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing them being produced and seeing them on the car."

Alpine has generally been the fifth-fastest team so far, but missed an opportunity to score much more in Melbourne, where a late collision between Ocon and team-mate Pierre Gasly left both drivers without points.

While the team's A523 challenger doesn't have any major weaknesses, Ocon says addressing "a lot of details" will yield substantial performance.

"It's a lot of details. It's never one thing and that's the difficult thing; a compromise somewhere can lead you to lose a little bit of performance elsewhere.

"And we can't make compromises at the moment because of where we are." 

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