Force India's Esteban Ocon said the car was not as strong as it should have been, after missing out on Q3 for the first time since Singapore in yesterday's qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Frenchman missed out on the final session by just 0.062 seconds but will start in tenth due to Daniel Ricciardo's grid penalty.
Ocon has been in very good form recently, managing to be the only non Mercedes driver to have qualified in the top six at every one of the last four races, and consistently managing to get the better of experienced teammate Sergio Perez. However Perez will line up fifth tomorrow in a performance that put him at the top of the midfield drivers.
“It was not a perfect session and I just missed out on making Q3,” said Ocon. “The margins are always tight here and a few hundredths would have made the difference. For whatever reason we didn’t make our usual step between Friday and Saturday, and that’s one of the reasons we were not as strong as we should have been.
“I was also struggling with putting all the sectors together over one lap because I was gaining time in sector one, but losing grip in sector two. It feels as though we just didn’t get the most from the tyres when it mattered in Q2. On the positive side, I will move up a place on the grid with Daniel’s grid penalty and I have a free choice of tyres for the race.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing