Esteban Ocon will make his final appearance for the Manor Racing MRT outfit in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before his 2017 move to the Sahara Force India F1 Team, and he’s admitted that the past eight races have gone in a flash.
The Frenchman debuted for the Banbury-based team in the Belgian Grand Prix, but feels he has learned a lot in such a short space of time, and enjoyed his best finish of the season so far last time out in Brazil when he finished twelfth, although he was running as high as eighth at one point.
The result in Brazil was more damaging to Manor when Felipe Nasr scored the first points of the season for the Sauber F1 Team, a result that moved the Swiss team ahead of Manor in the Constructors’ Championship.
“It’s gone by so quickly but it feels like I have learned such a lot in a very short space of time,” said Ocon. “I haven’t had a full season’s perspective, but even since Spa I have seen how much the team has grown and how these experiences will strengthen Manor Racing for the future.
“I don’t want to say too much about beyond Abu Dhabi for now, as this race needs our full focus. Brazil was heart-breaking for many reasons – for me and the team – so let’s keep pushing and bring all the hard work to a positive conclusion.
“I will forever be grateful to Manor Racing for giving me the opportunity to begin my F1 career, so my objective is to help put a smile on everyone’s faces on Sunday afternoon.
“Getting both cars to the chequered flag with one last strong performance under our belts is my target. It maybe won’t change the situation in the Constructors’ standings, but it will be a measure of what the team has done well so many times this season.”