Esteban Ocon: “Tomorrow I will be the happiest guy on the grid”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Esteban Ocon is happy with his pace he has achieved so far during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Sunday will mark his first Grand Prix as a Formula 1 driver after replacing Rio Haryanto at Manor Racing, and Ocon has showed good pace throughout the weekend, even finishing higher than team-mate Pascal Wehrlein in the opening practice. During qualifying though, he was unable to match Wehrlein’s pace and had to settle for eighteenth.

The Frenchman is now focused completely of the goal of a strong clean race on Sunday and hopefully even get a good result for the team.

“I’ve been pretty happy with my pace generally,” said Ocon. “It’s not easy to start your F1 career more than halfway through the season.

“I was very quick on the Soft tyre, so although I’m a little disappointed today, I’m also excited about what is yet to come. Tomorrow I will be the happiest guy on the grid. It’s my first race and I can’t wait for the whole experience of preparing for the race, the grid, lights out, pit stops – everything.

“Again, the race will bring its own challenges, as it’s my first one, but I’m really happy with the work we’ve done in practice. I’m happy on the Medium and Soft tyre, and with the long run pace, so I’m just going to stay focused on the goal, which is to have a strong clean race, get a good result for the team, learn a lot and have fun with it too.”