Esteban Ocon was excited to qualify as best of the rest for the United States Grand Prix as the Frenchman took sixth on the grid after a strong display in Qualifying on Saturday.
The Racing Point Force India F1 Team driver set a best time of 1:34.145 to get ahead of Renault Sport Formula One Team’s Nico Hülkenberg, while he ended up just over a tenth of a second clear of Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean, who had been sixth after the first runs in Q3 at the Circuit of the Americas.
Ocon knew it was always going to be a close session amid the midfield runners – the Frenchman’s time was only four-tenths of a second fastest than team-mate Sergio Pérez in tenth – but it was pleasing to come out on top of that battle with a VJM11 that he felt was working very well across the sessions.
“I am really happy with our performance today,” admitted Ocon. “It’s awesome to be sixth on the grid – the best of the rest – but it was a really close session all the way through.
“In Q3, my lap was very strong and the car was working really well.”
Despite the limited amount of dry weather running during the weekend, Ocon is hopeful that Force India have found a good set-up to cope with race conditions on Sunday and hopes to bring home another top ten finish for them as they fight for sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship against the McLaren F1 Team.
“Tomorrow the aim is to stay where we are and bring home the points,” said the Frenchman. “The race pace is a bit unknown because of the wet weather yesterday but I think we can be just as competitive tomorrow.”