Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
Bahrain Grand Prix, Sunday 17th April 2017. Sakhir, Bahrain. courtesy of Sahara Force India Formula One TeamEsteban Ocon has said he is determined to take away more than just a single point from this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, after finishing each of the opening races of 2017 in tenth place.
Alongside the two seventh- and one ninth-place finishes logged by teammate Sergio Pérez, Ocon’s run of results has helped contribute to Force India’s most
lucrative start to a season since 2014, not to mention making them the only team bar Mercedes and Ferrari to have both cars in the points at every round so far.
But despite the stats, Ocon insists there is more to come from him in 2017:
“After three races in the points I’m feeling happy about my start to the season,” the Frenchman said ahead of Sochi, “[but] at the same time, I feel a bit of disappointment that we haven’t achieved more.”
In Bahrain, Ocon believed that the ill-timing of the safety car “probably cost me three positions”, whilst in China a miscommunication with the team sent him on an unnecessary trip down the pitlane in which he lost at least fifteen seconds of lap time.
“With a bit more luck on my side, I would have come away from China and Bahrain with even more points,” Ocon said. “Finishing tenth three times in a row isn’t enough for me—I want more!”
Nevertheless, those around Ocon have continued to voice their approval of his achievements so far in 2017. Vijay Mallya has labelled Ocon’s first few races with Force India a “super start” to his first full Formula One season, whilst Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said Ocon is on “the right trajectory” as he continues to “benchmark himself against…a very strong teammate in Pérez”.
James Matthews, Deputy Editor