Japanese Grand Prix: We achieved the maximum, says Ocon

Sahara Force India drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez expressed satisfaction with the sixth and seventh place finishes in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Japanese Grand Prix: We achieved the maximum, says Ocon
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 celebrates in parc ferme
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India VJM10
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 celebrates in parc ferme
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India VJM10
 Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10, Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
 Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India
 Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10, Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17

The two top 10 spots earned the team 14 points in the race at Suzuka. With this result, Perez and Ocon are seventh and eighth in the drivers’ standings with 82 and 65 points respectively.

The team is fourth among the constructors with 147 points.

Ocon said: “It was a great race, especially the start and opening laps. I was running third for a long time. We are still missing a little bit of pace to keep the big guys behind, but it was great fun fighting at the front.

“I tried my best to keep (Daniel) Ricciardo and (Valtteri) Bottas behind, but they were just too quick and I had to let them go and focus on my race.

“The main challenge was managing my pace because it was a one-stop race and it was important to look after the tyres so they would be strong at the end.

“I was running ahead of Sergio and we had nothing to gain from the cars ahead and a comfortable margin to the cars behind. So the priority was to bring the car home and score the big points.

“It’s been an awesome weekend and it feels as though we achieved the maximum and that is why the result is so enjoyable. We also learned a lot about the car, which will make us stronger in Austin, so that we can hopefully close the gap on the teams ahead of us,” he added.

Perez felt the team achieved the maximum on Sunday.

“I am very happy for the team with this great result and it was definitely the maximum we could achieve,” he said.

“It was a relatively easy race. We had a strong qualifying session and good race pace. So we spent a lot of time on our own.

“I felt I was quicker than Esteban in the second stint and I had an opportunity to overtake him at the final restart, but we followed the team’s instructions.

“We knew this would be the case. So, it wasn’t a surprise and swapping us wouldn’t have made a difference in terms of points for the team, so I understand the team’s perspective.

“In the end, Esteban did a great job during the whole weekend. The last two races have been really strong for us and I am very pleased with the results we have achieved,” he added.

Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley said the team was proud of the performance.

“The entire team can be proud of our performance this weekend. We’ve had the fourth quickest car yet again and took the fight to the teams ahead of us,” he stated.

“Esteban’s opening lap was magnificent as he muscled his way ahead of Ricciardo and ran as high as third in the early stages of the race. Sergio pretty much shadowed Esteban all afternoon and, once the pit stops were completed, we asked the drivers to hold station and bring home the points.

“We take further encouragement from the speed we have shown here, which has taken us a step closer to confirming fourth place in the championship,” he said.

 
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