Ocon: Perez podium a hard one to swallow


Esteban Ocon admits Sergio Perez’s third place in the Azerbaijan GP was a “hard one to swallow” as he wishes he was the one standing on the podium.

Although Ocon qualified ahead of Perez, the weekend’s plaudits all went to the Mexican racer.

While Ocon retired on the opening lap, involved in a collision with Kimi Raikkonen, Perez made the most of others’ misfortune to race his way to third.

It was Force India’s first podium of this season.

“For sure it’s a hard one to swallow even though it’s great for the team, in the end, to get a comeback like this from a strong weekend where we had great pace and we made a step,” said Ocon.

“A hard one to swallow myself but it’s important to take the positives, which was a strong weekend for us and good points for the team.

“We needed that. In the end whether it was me or him we needed that.

“It’s a shame that I retired on Lap 1, it was close with Sergio at the start and that would have been terrible because we had the pace to do well.

“Let’s see if we can get the step from Baku.”

The Frenchman is hoping that Azerbaijan will not be Force India’s only chance for a top-three result this season as he chases his first F1 podium.

“I want to definitely,” he added. “I think we will still have our chance. We don’t know [what] can happen this season but yeah why not.”