Esteban Ocon: “It was nice to let my driving do the talking”

Esteban Ocon - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Esteban Ocon enjoyed his first day as an official Formula 1 driver as the Frenchman took to the track for Manor Racing at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday.

The Mercedes-protégé finished sixteenth quickest in morning practice with a time of 1:52.837, but despite improving to a 1:50.659 in the afternoon, Ocon could only finish twenty-first as times tumbled, but he did not put a foot wrong all day.

Ocon was happy to finally let his driving do the talking after being the centre of many interviews ahead of his debut, and is looking forward to making more progress as the weekend continues on Saturday.

“Everything worked out perfectly,” said Ocon. “It was nice to let my driving do the talking after so many interviews and such a busy build-up to this weekend. And I was really happy with how the day went.

“The car felt good and I felt good in it, so after so much preparation, everything came pretty naturally. I got the chance to try out the Supersoft tyre early in the session, which gave me a feel for where the car is versus the competition.

“It looked pretty positive and because it’s only Friday, there’s something to build on as I get better acquainted with everything. I lost a bit of time this afternoon, but we’ve done what we set out to achieve.

“I’m looking forward to talking through the data tonight and coming back even stronger tomorrow.”