Ocon encouraged by recent Force India progress


Esteban Ocon - Formula 1 - 2018 British Grand Prix
Credit: Sahara Force India F1 Team

Esteban Ocon is aiming to build on the momentum gathered by the Sahara Force India F1 Team in order to head into Formula 1‘s summer break strongly.

Ocon has managed four points finishes in the last five races, including two sixth places in Monaco and Austria, a run of form that has propelled him to eleventh in the Drivers’ Championship, one place and one point above team-mate Sergio Pérez.

The Frenchman returns to racing action at the Hockenheimring for the first time since his DTM debut with Mercedes in 2016, a weekend that saw him retire in both races, and hopes to make the most out of Force India’s recent progression in both Germany and Hungary.

“I feel ready for the final two races before the summer break,” said Ocon.

“We have been finding performance as a team with strong results in the last few races and I want to have two good ones before the holidays.”

After the disappointment of a double-retirement at the French Grand Prix, Force India have scored 21 points in the previous two race weekends, allowing them to join the hotly-contested battle for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship after a sluggish start to their 2018 campaign.

Ocon is confident in his pace around Hockenheim, having taken two podiums there in 2014 on his way to the European Formula 3 title.

“Hockenheim is one of the tracks I know the most,” he added.

“I have been driving there a lot in my career, first in F3 but also during my experience in DTM with Mercedes. It’s one of those historical tracks that are important for Formula One and there are always a lot of fans coming to see us with cards, messages and letters.

“It’s important to have a German Grand Prix and it’s always a special feeling racing there.”

Furthermore, the 21-year-old believes that the track will play to the strengths of the Force India package – the straights allowing them to tune into the benefits of the Mercedes power unit – and sees it as a good chance to add to their points total.

“I think the weekend can be a good one for us,” Ocon projected.

“The track should suit us because of the long straights and slow corners, so it’s a chance to score more points. I enjoy the circuit. It has good overtaking opportunities, especially the hairpin at the end of a long straight and the sharp left hander a bit later.

“The racing is usually quite close so hopefully we will have an entertaining race on Sunday.”