Antonio Giovinazzi’s crash during qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix meant that Esteban Ocon was unable to advance through to Q2, with the Frenchman ultimately setting the slowest time of the session.
The Sahara Force India F1 Team racer felt the pace was there to advance and was on course to do so, matching team-mate Sergio Perez’s pace on his final flying lap, only for Giovinazzi to crash and the yellow flags to fly to end any chance of improving his time.
Despite this, Ocon still believes points are a possibility, especially if the forecasted mixed weather conditions come on Sunday.
“It’s disappointing to go out in Q1, but I never got the chance to show the car’s full potential,” said Ocon. “I was setting a good lap time, on the same pace as Sergio, and I would have easily made it into Q2, but the yellow flags for the Giovinazzi crash stopped me finishing the lap. It’s a shame, but it’s just the luck of the draw and today it wasn’t meant to be.
“I’m still going to put up a fight tomorrow: the weather forecast predicts rain, so anything can happen. Nobody has raced in the wet with these tyres, so it will be a case of learning as we go and making the most of the situation.
“Mixed conditions should give me a chance to make up some ground and get up into the points, so I will be hoping for rain!”