A week on from qualifying third for the Belgian Grand Prix, Esteban Ocon was looking to take at least sixth on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix, but the Frenchman was disappointed to end up only eighth after failing to maximise the slipstreaming potential that the Autodromo Nazionale Monza offers.
The Racing Point Force India F1 Team racer was able to escape the ultra-tight Q1 at Monza by more than three-tenths of a second but found himself as the lone representative for the Silverstone-based outfit thanks to the misfortune of team-mate Sergio Pérez.
Team-mates were often seen giving each other tows throughout the day but with only one Force India on the track, Ocon was relying on getting a tow from other drivers in order to find more speed, but when it mattered in Q3 he was unable to get enough benefit from a tow to better eighth, falling in behind Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean and Renault Sport Formula One Team’s Carlos Sainz Jr.
Never-the-less, Ocon feels there should be some opportunities to make overtakes on Sunday and move forward, with the Frenchman feeling the pace of the car is strong in racing conditions.
“It was a very close session and I was actually hoping for a bit more than P8 because I think P6 was achievable today,” reflected Ocon. “Unfortunately I didn’t maximise the slipstream at the right moment on my final run and that cost me some top speed.
“Hopefully we can make up those positions tomorrow because our car pace is strong and there should be some overtaking opportunities.”