Esteban Ocon says it is too early to judge the upgrade package trialled on his Alpine A524 Formula 1 car at the Chinese GP.

The Enstone team was able to fast track one set of new parts for Ocon’s use in Shanghai, while his team mate Pierre Gasly stayed with the standard car.

Ocon started 13th and had a solid race to 11th in the main event, while Gasly was not far behind him at the flag.

Ocon conceded that it was and the team’s his best race of 2024 thus far, but he remained cautious on the overall impact of the changes.

“I think happier and a bit disappointed at the same time not to be in the points,” he said when asked by this writer about his race.

“We ended up through 2.3 seconds away from the points, which is difficult to swallow, given the job that we’ve done this weekend.

“I think it was fully maximised. I feel like this race has been my best driving race of the whole season, I was very happy with how I managed everything.

“And there was clearly nothing left on the table. So to not have that reward is a little bit sad, but it’s going in the right direction, a small step at a time.

“I think both cars made a good step forward, well inside the top 15. Of course, a lot has happened this race. So difficult to give conclusions exactly on where we would have ended up if everyone was there.

“But we will keep pushing, and hopefully we have one more shot of being close to the points in Miami.”

Ocon stressed that the team would have to conduct a proper analysis of how the upgraded car compared to rivals in the Shanghai event.

“I think we need to dig in exactly on what has been better,” he said. “I think for sure the weight has been an improvement.

“On the rest, I think we need further analysis to exactly see if it has brought a clear performance advantage, because I think both cars were in good shape in that weekend on that side.”

Regarding future prospects he added: “At the moment, we haven’t scored one point this season. So it’s early to say. But it’s our best finish of the year with both cars.

“We need to be careful what we read into it, we need to be careful also, who was there in that race? There’s been many things happening, and lot of contenders that are in the back.

“So that’s the other thing, that we need to be careful on. But on the same time, I feel like it’s been a very strong weekend on the operational side, and on my side driving, and I’ve been happy with that. So we keep going.”