Two races after entering, and exiting, administration, Racing Point Force India F1 Team driver Esteban Ocon says the team is “in good shape and [has] good momentum“.
Force India went into administration just before the Belgian Grand Prix, casting serious doubts over the team’s future in Formula 1 and leading some to question whether they would even make it to the grid at Spa. Thankfully for all involved Lance Stroll‘s father Lawrence Stroll stepped in to buy the team and rebranded them Racing Point Force India F1 Team, though the mid-season rebrand meant the team had to surrender all their points. This left them last and on zero heading into the second part of the season and, with such a big shake-up at the team, raised questions over how the team would perform for the remainder of the season.
Force India answered those questions with a resounding fifth and sixth place in Belgium, and backed it up in last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix by finishing seventh and eighth on the road (with both drivers eventually promoted to sixth and seventh thanks to Grosjean’s disqualification for an illegal floor). Two races after having their points reset they sit seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, having overtaken Williams Martini Racing, Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team and Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda.
Speaking after the race but before Grosjean’s disqualification, Ocon said the team’s finishing results had given them “good momentum“, adding that their sixth-place finish was the target at Monza.
“I’m feeling happy with the result today. We were targeting sixth place, but we just didn’t quite have enough pace advantage to make the move on Grosjean.
“However, seventh and eighth for the team is a great effort. My start was really good but I was squeezed onto the grass on the approach to turn one and had to back out of it, which cost me a couple of positions. From then on we had good pace and we managed to get ahead of Sainz.
“I was able to look after my tyres and make them last. I had one realistic opportunity to try and get Grosjean towards the end of the race, but it didn’t work out. I’m pleased we could end the European season with a strong result. We head to the flyaways in good shape and we have good momentum.”