Ocon: Force India found VJM10's sweet spot
30 September 2017 – Esteban Ocon reckons he and Force India discovered the VJM10's "sweet spot" during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix as he logged the sixth-best time.
Ocon was at the sharp end of the midfield battle through the three-stage qualifying session and posted a 1:31.478 in Q3 to ensure he finished ahead of his primary rivals.
It marks Ocon's best dry-weather one-lap showing, having previously qualified fifth in wet conditions at Monza earlier this month.
"I think it's up there, but I don't think it's the best," Ocon said of his qualifying lap.
"I missed the last corner, but let's not speak about that!
"It's a great team achievement today, looking at where we were in Singapore, the week of analysis that we did.
"We just put the car out this weekend and it was very near where we needed it to be – I think we found the sweet spot in qualifying."
Ocon's team-mate, Sergio Pérez, will start from ninth position, believing his prospects were compromised by illness and an error through the right-hander at Turn 11.
"It wasn't an easy qualifying session for me," said Pérez, who was beaten by Ocon for only the fourth time this season.
"I've been unwell this week and this is possibly the worst place to not feel 100 per cent.
"I made a mistake in Turn 11 during my final lap in Q3 and lost my rhythm. It was a small lock-up on what had been a very good lap until then, but it cost me enough time to be only ninth.
"It's still a good result, all things considered, and it puts us in a good position for the race."