Esteban Ocon felt his qualifying performance at the Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday was not as good as it should have been after struggling to get any kind of performance from the Ultrasoft tyre, a tyre that team-mate Pascal Wehrlein put to good use to get through to Q2.
The Manor Racing MRT driver felt he was having a good weekend until qualifying, but the failure to improve with the Ultrasoft tyre meant he will start Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from twentieth on the grid, not where he wanted to be, especially with Wehrlein up in sixteenth.
Despite the result of qualifying, Ocon is hopeful he can make up ground on Sunday and end his final race with Manor before he moves to the Sahara Force India F1 Team in 2017 on a high.
“My qualifying was a disaster,” admitted Ocon. “Free practice looked positive this morning and we were ahead, but as soon as we put the Ultrasoft on I was standing still and my team-mate and everyone else was improving.
“There was nothing more in terms of pace on that tyre for me. I was losing speed and we have to look at what the problem was because for sure, there was one.
“It’s a great track, which I enjoy, and up until qualifying the signs are all good in terms of our performance. I’m starting at a disadvantage in terms of grid position, but if we can get a good start – and we know we can – then I hope we can recover some places and have a good race.”