Force India: Ocon needs to improve racecraft


Force India deputy team boss Bob Fernley is happy with how Esteban Ocon’s is rising to the standard set for Sergio Perez, but believes the Frenchman’s racecraft still needs work.

Ocon has been involved in one of the most hard-fought team-mate battles this season, with team orders coming into effect between the pair who are separated in the standings by 17 points.

Ocon has scored points in every race bar Monaco, but Fernley is still looking for improvement from the Frenchman.

“He is getting better, and he’s fortunate to have a very, very good teammate, who is an absolute out and-out-racer, who keeps him very, very focussed,” Fernley said.

“He’s still got a little bit to learn in terms of racecraft, and that’s where he benefits from having Checo around him.

“On out-and-out pace he’s there, but he’s young, and he’s still got a little bit to go.”

Force India have fourth spot in the World Constructors’ Championship pretty much nailed down at this late stage of the season, and Fernley believes the update that came to Singapore has helped them keep ahead of the rest of the chasing pack behind them.

“For us it was a textbook race, we just delivered,” added Fernley.

“From our point of view we introduced the updates in Singapore, and that’s two races where we’ve been able to get the package right, and we’ve been on our own in terms of being the fourth fastest in qualifying, and the fourth fastest in races.

“It’s a good step in the right direction. We’ve just got to keep hard at it.”