Ocon went into qualifying ‘a bit blind’


Esteban Ocon has admitted that a lack of practice time meant that he felt “a bit blind” going into qualifying, where he exited in the first session.

The Frenchman failed to get his Force India out of Q1 for the first time since Monaco 2017, and will start from P15, promoted up one spot with Daniel Ricciardo dropping to the back of the grid.

Ocon did not participate in FP1, with Nicholas Latifi, Force India’s test driver, taking his place. He came back for FP2, but Saturday morning’s FP3 session was essentially washed out.

“It’s not a great feeling going out in Q1 but I made a slight error in qualifying today, which cost me the opportunity to continue into Q2,” Ocon said.

“I didn’t manage to get the right feeling with the car and we couldn’t set it up how I wanted.

“Today’s rain during FP3 really hurt me because I had already missed a session yesterday. There is nothing we could have done about it, but it meant we went into qualifying feeling a bit blind, with just one session of track time,” the Frenchman continued.

“The battle in the midfield is going to be close, as always, but this is a good track for overtaking and I think we can push our way into the points.”

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