Esteban Ocon insisted his priority on Friday was to learn more about the Baku Street Circuit, and he did so with two top ten finishes in practice.
The Sahara Force India F1 Team racer finished seventh in the opening session with a lap of 1:45.752s, just over three-tenths of a second behind team-mate Sergio Perez, before ending ninth in FP2 with a lap of 1:44.484s, with the gap to his team-mate this time less than two-tenths of a second.
Ocon felt comfortable behind the wheel of his VJM10 right from the start of practice, but was amongst the drivers to moan about the numerous yellow flags and interruptions that he felt meant he could not show even better pace.
“I’m pretty happy about today,” admitted Ocon. “We had good pace in the car and I felt quite comfortable right from the start.
“I feel we couldn’t really show our speed because of all the yellow flags and the traffic I found on my quick laps, but it doesn’t matter. The important days for this weekend are yet to come.
“It was my first time around this circuit, so the priority was to keep out of trouble: this is not an easy track to learn but I enjoy the challenge. It’s a narrow circuit and it’s very easy to brake a bit too late, which is why there were so many yellow flags.”