Ocon ‘Quicker than I thought’ says Force India boss Mallya


Esteban Ocon has been quicker in 2017 than Vijay Mallya was expecting him to be - Credit: Sahara Force India F1 Team

Vijay Mallya has expressed his delight at the speed and consistency that Esteban Ocon has shown during the 2017 Formula 1 season so far, and he feels the Sahara Force India F1 Team made the right choice of driver to partner Sergio Perez this season.

The Team Principal of the Silverstone-based outfit admitted there were other rookie drivers out there under consideration, but they chose the twenty-year-old Frenchman, who raced nine times with the Manor Racing MRT outfit at the end of 2016.

Ocon has rewarded their decision by scoring points in nine of the opening ten races, with a best finish of fifth coming at the Spanish Grand Prix, and Mallya is grateful that they signed him up on a multi-year contract.

“Esteban has come up to speed really well and is quicker than I thought – it’s fantastic,” said Mallya. “We had a tough call to make over the winter about who our driver was going to be.

“There were only rookies available and I think we made the right choice. He’s only going to mature and get better. You know that experience is hugely important, and the more experience he gets the better he’s going to become.

“He has the talent, which has showed already. I’m happy we have him signed up on a multi-year contract, so I’m expecting regular point-scoring finishes from him.”