Ocon eyes first points from 14th place
25 March 2017 – Esteban Ocon is optimistic that he can make amends for a mistake on his final flying lap in Q2 to compete for points during his Force India debut at the Australian Grand Prix.
Ocon, entering his first full season in Formula 1, following a partial campaign with Manor last year, set the 14th best time in the second knockout session, via a mistake through Turn 14.
The Frenchman, who finished just under half a second shy of team-mate Sergio Pérez, is sure that there is more potential to be extracted from Force India's VJM10.
"I've been on the learning curve this week in Melbourne and I'm not feeling particularly satisfied with today's qualifying session," said Ocon.
"Yes, it's the first time I've reached Q2, but there is more potential in the car. I learned a huge amount during the session and despite being far away from Sergio in Q1, I was much closer in Q2.
"Unfortunately I made a small mistake on my final run, so I missed the chance to be higher up the grid.
"I go into tomorrow's race believing there is a good opportunity to fight for points; the first challenge will be the new start procedures, which could really mix things up on lap one."
Deputy team boss Bob Fernley is also confident that Force India can vault into the top 10, despite both drivers exiting in Q2, with Pérez set to line-up from 11th spot.
"Esteban is still finding his feet with the team and is on a very steep learning curve," reassured Fernley.
"He's taken a very mature approach so far and is gradually building his confidence and speed with this car. He made good progress during the session and he knows there is more to come.
"It's a long race tomorrow so let's see what happens. Scoring points with both cars remains the objective."