Esteban Ocon was baffled after failing to advance through to the top ten shootout during Qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, with the Frenchman unable to make the usual step forward he has done this season compared to Friday.
The Sahara Force India F1 Team racer missed out on joining team-mate Sergio Perez in Q3 by just 0.062 seconds, and Ocon admitted that he was struggling to get the best out of his VJM10 when it mattered.
“It was not a perfect session and I just missed out on making Q3,” said Ocon. “The margins are always tight here and a few hundredths would have made the difference.
“For whatever reason we didn’t make our usual step between Friday and Saturday, and that’s one of the reasons we were not as strong as we should have been.
“I was also struggling with putting all the sectors together over one lap because I was gaining time in sector one, but losing grip in sector two. It feels as though we just didn’t get the most from the tyres when it mattered in Q2.”
However, the Frenchman, who has yet to retire from a Grand Prix during his twenty-seven race career, remains positive that he can secure an eighteenth top ten finish of the season and a thirteenth in a row on Sunday, and will move up one spot to tenth on the grid thanks to Daniel Ricciardo‘s grid penalty.
“On the positive side, I will move up a place on the grid with Daniel’s grid penalty and I have a free choice of tyres for the race,” said the Frenchman.