Esteban Ocon was the last of the classified finishers at the Sepang International Circuit on Sunday, but made the best start of his short career to run tenth on the first lap.
During the pit stop cycle, the Manor Racing driver actually climbed as high as eighth, but struggled when he switched over to the Hard Pirelli compound compared to the Soft, and then blotted his copybook with not one but two time penalties for speeding in the pit lane.
Ocon ultimately slipped behind team-mate Pascal Wehrlein in the closing stages, but felt he has made a lot of progress with his driving this weekend in Malaysia.
“The start was excellent and on the Soft tyre on the first stint we could have a good race,” said Ocon. “Once we pitted onto the hard tyre we started to struggle. We had a decent battle with [Marcus] Ericsson but I couldn’t beat my team-mate, who was on a different strategy, and the penalties put paid to that anyway.
“We were definitely better off here and we’ve made some real progress since Singapore, no doubt about that. So my thanks to the team for a really good job this weekend and let’s keep moving forward.”