Esteban Ocon: “We knew there was an opportunity for us this afternoon”

Esteban Ocon will start the Italian Grand Prix from third on the grid - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Esteban Ocon enjoyed his career-best qualifying performance at the very wet Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Saturday, with the Sahara Force India F1 Team driver set to start third on the grid.

The Frenchman ended the session fifth fastest but penalties for both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo moves him up two places, and Ocon admitted the conditions were to his liking, saying that he enjoys driving in the wet.

Ocon believes there is a chance of a podium finish on Sunday due to his strong qualifying, although he knows there are some quick drivers out of position behind him, so he will be focusing on getting the best result possible.

“A great qualifying session,” said Ocon. “I’m really happy for everybody in the team. We knew there was an opportunity for us this afternoon and I’m so pleased we could take it.

“I always enjoy driving in the wet and the conditions today were really challenging. The car felt great; there was a really nice balance and I have to say a big thank you to the team for all their hard work.

“We will need to fight hard tomorrow because there are quick cars all around us, but I believe we can score some really big points and I’ll be aiming for the podium.”