Esteban Ocon called his retirement from the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix a “very frustrating way to end the season”. The Frenchman was forced onto the sidelines early after his car suffered an oil leak.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport junior admitted afterwards it was a disappointing way to end his time with the Racing Point Force India F1 Team having starred for the majority of the season, ultimately losing out on a race seat for 2019.
“It’s a very frustrating way to end the season,” said Ocon.
“Everything was going well, we had some fantastic battles and overtakes, and the pace we had was really good.
“We weren’t on the best strategy because we had to start on the hyper-soft tyres, but we had managed to recover well and we were looking good for a finish in the points.
“We did everything right as a team but sadly the car had an oil leak which forced us to retire. That’s how racing is: days like these are disappointing, but they make you stronger.”
Ocon is set to be replaced by Lance Stroll, who will make the move from Williams Martini Racing. The 22-year-old will instead take up a reserve driver role with Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport in 2019.
“I am grateful for all the support I have received from the fans, people inside the sport and of course inside the team this season,” he added.