Sahara Force India F1 Team driver Esteban Ocon believes the team was missing the “tenth or two” they needed to make it into the third qualifying session for the Austrian Grand Prix.
Ocon qualified in eleventh place, missing the cut by just over one and a half tenths. His team-mate Sergio Perez, on the other hand, was unable to even get out of the first qualifying session, and will start from seventeenth.
The reason for this lack of pace, Ocon says, isn’t so much an issue with the team – it’s down to how close the mid-field is.
“A place in Q3 was just out of reach today. We were missing a tenth or two to make the difference because the middle of the grid is very close. It’s not been the easiest weekend and we have struggled to find the pace, especially over a single lap.”
Whilst Ocon revealed that the team has improvements in the pipeline to try and take the fight to the mid-field, he said that in the short term he’s got his eye on points ahead of the race.
“I think the developments we have coming for the future races will give us the boost we need. The positive thing about P11 is that we have a free choice of tyres tomorrow and can start the race on new tyres. For tomorrow I’m only looking forward and aiming for points.”