Ocon relieved to overcome pre-race issue
23 October 2017 – Force India's Esteban Ocon labelled his United States Grand Prix as "very satisfying", and praised his team for overcoming a pre-race issue with his power unit.
Ocon, having been unwell on Saturday, qualified in seventh position and started from sixth spot due to Max Verstappen's grid penalty.
He lost out to the recovering Verstappen, but profited from Daniel Ricciardo's engine failure to ultimately preserve sixth, keeping Renault's Carlos Sainz Jr. at bay.
"Sixth place feels very satisfying because it was not an easy race with so much pressure from Sainz Jr. in the final stages," said Ocon.
"I spent a big part of the race just managing my pace and looking after the tyres to make the one-stop strategy work.
"The team told me when to push and when to manage the pace, and to finish sixth shows we judged this almost perfectly.
"Before the race there was an issue on the grid with a control unit in my car, but the team did a really good job to make the repairs in time for the start.
"The car was strong with good pace and it's another race where we have come away feeling we achieved the maximum result that was possible."
Ocon's team-mate, Sergio Pérez, used the undercut and trailed Ocon as the pair caught the yet-to-stop Felipe Massa, but gradually slipped back, and fell behind Sainz Jr. later on.
"It was a difficult race and I am very happy we managed to score some points," said Pérez.
"We tried a very aggressive strategy to make up ground after qualifying and we made a very early stop to undercut Massa and Sainz Jr.
"We managed to do so and I passed [Fernando] Alonso on track, and then got close to Esteban.
"At the time, I thought I had much better pace because he was saving his tyres, but being in traffic really damaged my tyres and I fell back.
"It's hard to know how things would have gone if I had got past Esteban – maybe I could have saved my tyres a bit better.
"When Sainz Jr. was behind me, I couldn't do anything because his tyres were much fresher.
"Towards the end, I had a hard time defending from [Daniil] Kvyat and Massa, and I really struggled to keep Felipe behind in the last few laps."