Esteban Ocon was ecstatic are claiming sixth on the grid for the Mexican Grand Prix on Saturday, and even felt he left some time on the table that could have seen him ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in fifth.
The Sahara Force India F1 Team racer set a best lap of 1:17.437s in the top ten shoot-out, which placed him ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, while he ended up less than two-tenths of a second behind Scuderia Ferrari’s Raikkonen.
Ocon praised his team for giving him such a strong car, particularly after not being that happy with his VJM10 on Friday, and ending up less than one second off the outright pole lap of Sebastian Vettel was pleasing, and bodes well for a strong result on Sunday.
“It was an awesome qualifying session. I’m really happy,” said Ocon. “The car was not so easy to drive yesterday, but the team did an amazing job overnight to find some more performance.
“Everybody at the track and back at the factory worked hard to make some improvements and I could really feel the difference today. They gave me a really strong car and during the session the pace just got better and better.
“I actually made a small mistake on my final lap in Q3 so maybe I could have been even faster and ahead of Raikkonen. Even so, I’m really pleased with this result and excited for the race.
“We have strong race pace, good top speed and the potential is there for a very strong result.”