Esteban Ocon: “We were hoping to be higher up today”


Esteban Ocon starts eleventh on the grid - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Despite missing out on advancing to the top ten shootout for only the second time in 2017, Esteban Ocon remains confident that he can continue his strong campaign with the Sahara Force India F1 Team at the Hungaroring on Sunday with another top ten finish.

The Frenchman, the 2015 GP3 Series champion, has scored points in nine of the opening ten races of this season, and despite the VJM10 not suiting the Hungaroring layout this weekend, Ocon was disappointed not to make it through to the top ten shootout, although he does expect the race pace to be better.

Ocon would have started twelfth on the grid but gains one position thanks to Nico Hülkenberg’s penalty for a gearbox change, but what will please the Frenchman is the fact he out-qualified team-mate Sergio Perez, who will start down in thirteenth once Daniil Kvyat takes his grid penalty for impeding.

“We were hoping to be higher up today, but it’s not our strongest track and we were just missing the pace to make the top ten,” admitted Ocon. “I still have a good feeling in the car and our race pace will be more competitive.

“It looks as though I will gain a place because of the grid penalty for Nico [Hulkenberg] and I still believe a strong points finish is achievable tomorrow.”