Esteban Ocon climbed from the back of the grid to finish tenth in the Chinese Grand Prix, but felt eighth was certainly for the taking had a miscommunication early on in the race not cost him around fifteen seconds.
The Sahara Force India F1 Team racer hit pit lane on the end of lap two but drove all the way through without stopping as his team were not ready for him, and this left him further down the order than he wanted, and although he recovered to tenth by the chequered flag – just 6.578 seconds down on team-mate Sergio Perez – he felt a better result could have been possible.
“Finishing the race in the top ten is a good recovery, but I still feel I could have been a couple of places higher up,” said Ocon. “We had the correct strategy and started the race on the right tyre, but on lap two there was a misunderstanding with the team and I drove all the way down the pit lane without stopping for tyres. I was not supposed to come in and it cost me at least 15 seconds.
“It was a result of the confusion of those early laps, when everyone was diving into the pits. It’s a shame to lose time like this, but in the end we scored a point and that’s a positive.
“The car felt quite good today and finishing in tenth shows we can make a good improvement on Sundays.”