Esteban Ocon: “It’s been a really tough qualifying session”

Esteban Ocon will start seventh on the grid on Sunday - Credit: Sahara Force India F1 Team

Esteban Ocon revealed that his British Grand Prix qualifying session was not without issues, with a brake fire and radio failure during Q2 coming after a slick gamble in Q1.

Despite all of this, the Sahara Force India F1 Team driver finished the session eighth fastest, with the Frenchman moving up to seventh when Valtteri Bottas takes his grid penalty, with Ocon happy to overcome the issues to make it through to Q3.

“It’s been a really tough qualifying session, so I am happy to finish in eighth place,” said Ocon. “We decided to have a very late pit stop in Q1 to put slicks on.

“It was a calculated risk and we only took the decision at the final corner. I had one lap to get the time and I got blocked by [Marcus] Ericsson, but I still managed to improve my time even though it was very much on the limit.

“In Q2 I had my brakes on fire and during my second run I lost all radio contact with the team. I was there, driving alone, and I had to look out for the pit board like in the old times.”

Ocon feels that anything could happen on race day, especially if the unsettled weather continues into Sunday, but the Frenchman is confident that regardless of the conditions, he should be able to register a top ten finish.

“I’ll be seventh on the grid tomorrow, which is not a bad place to start, especially considering everything that happened during this session,” said Ocon.

“The conditions can be very unpredictable, like today, and if the rain comes anything can happen. We have been strong today and I am confident it can be the same tomorrow.”