Force India Lost Top Ten Finish thanks to Safety Car Intervention – Ocon


Esteban Ocon - Sahara Force India F1 Team
Credit: Sahara Force India F1 Team

Esteban Ocon felt circumstances left the Sahara Force India F1 Team without a point in the Chinese Grand Prix, particularly as he believed they were on course for the top ten before the intervention of the safety car.

The Frenchman had lost ground at the start and was struggling to make gains early on, but was on course for a second consecutive top ten finish before the safety car was needed to enable the clear up of debris at the hairpin at the end of the long back straight following a collision between the two Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda drivers.

However, being stuck behind Romain Grosjean for too long left him without the time needed to close on the other Haas F1 Team driver, Kevin Magnussen, and ultimately it left him eleventh on the road at the chequered flag.

“We were so close to scoring points today, but the events of the race didn’t really help us,” said Ocon.  “It was a messy start and we lost some time, and we didn’t make any progress.

“The race was starting to come back to us because we pitted early and the two-stop strategy looked to be working well. We were on course to finish in the points until the Safety Car came out. After that it was a big push until the end of the race, but I was stuck behind Grosjean for too long and he defended very well.

“Ultimately this cost me the chance of overtaking Magnussen and getting back in the points. It’s another race where things didn’t play into our hands, but the pace was competitive so we focus on the positives.”