Manor Racing’s racing director Dave Ryan admitted it was not the race the team were expecting at Spa-Francorchamps, especially on Pascal Wehrlein’s side of the garage after the German was an early retiree from the Belgian Grand Prix after a collision with Jenson Button.
But Ryan was delighted with how Esteban Ocon fared on his Formula 1 debut, and felt he did not put a foot wrong all weekend long despite it being his first time in the car following his promotion to the drive in place of Rio Haryanto.
Ryan is now looking ahead to the Italian Grand Prix, where he hopes they can improve on their results around a circuit that could suit the team.
“A mixed result today,” said Ryan. “On the one hand, a great debut by Esteban, who didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend. He finished his first race in 16th place and I’m sure it will be an upward trajectory for him from here. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he gets on in Monza.
“For Pascal, a real disappointment that he had to retire at the end of the first lap, but huge positives for him to take away from this race. His performance all weekend has been outstanding and, again, really excited to see how he takes this forward to Monza.
“From a team perspective, generally it’s been a good event for us, but we have had a few hiccups, which we need to sort out before Monza. That will be our focus over the next few days.”