Formula 1

Force India were right to stick with original strategy – Ocon

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Esteban Ocon - Formula 1 - 2018 German GP
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Esteban Ocon praised the Sahara Force India F1 Team for keeping with their planned strategy at the German Grand Prix, despite a brief rain shower in the final third of the race.

Ocon managed his third points-scoring finish in as many races with eighth place at the Hockenheimring, losing seventh to a charging Romain Grosjean in the late stages of the race. The Frenchman managed to turn a disappointing qualifying, where he failed to reach Q2 for the first time in over a year, to a result that helps Force India draw level on points with the Haas F1 Team for fifth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Despite making his way through the low end of the midfield in the first few laps, Ocon said that he found his first stint “pretty boring” and that the arrival of rain allowed both he and team-mate Sergio Pérez, who finished in seventh, to move up the order.

“It’s a great result for us after yesterday’s disappointment,” beamed Ocon.

“I made a good start and gained a few places in the opening laps, but besides that the first stint was pretty boring.

“It’s only after the pit stop, when it started raining, that Sergio and I truly made the difference. We gained a few positions on slicks under the rain and it was really good fun.”

Whilst many in the midfield opted to take the gamble on the intermediate tyres, or full wets for Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda‘s Pierre Gasly, both Force India drivers stayed on their used soft compound tyres, allowing them to progress once the non-slick runners retreated back to the pits.

“I had to evaluate the situation lap by lap, based on how much rain I could see on my visor and picking my braking points accordingly,” Ocon added.

“But we never really had any doubt about staying out. To get in the points after a tough Saturday is a great result: we stayed solid, we believed in our strategy and in the end it paid off.”

Ocon is rumoured to be leaving Force India next year, with the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team the most likely suitors. The Frenchman spent a half a year as test driver for the marque in 2016.

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DTM, Formula 1 writer and deputy editor for The Checkered Flag. Autosport Academy member and freelance voice over artist.
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