Ocon targets podium after qualifying third

2017 Italian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Esteban Ocon has set his sights on delivering Force India’s first podium finish of the year after qualifying third for the Italian Grand Prix.

The Force India driver was fifth in qualifying but will move up two places when the Red Bull drivers take their penalties.

Italian Grand Prix qualifying in pictures
“We knew that there was an opportunity to take in this qualifying session,” said Ocon. “I’ve been growing up with the rain and that’s fantastic to see that in a Formula One car I can still manage to do the good stuff.”

“It’s what the team deserves, after all their hard work, they put so much effort to get those results and now we start third. There is a big thing to get tomorrow which is the podium and we’ll keep pushing.”

Ocon said he believes a top three finish is “definitely” possible in Sunday’s race. “It was a great car to drive, really nice balance.”

Only one of Force India’s cars reached Q3 as Ocon pipped Sergio Perez to the final place by two-thousandths of a second.

“It was very important to be on the right tyres at the right moment,” said Perez. “In Q2 we took the decision to change from wets to inters and I only had two laps to try and make it happen.”

“It was not a perfect lap,” he admitted. “I went a bit too wide at Ascari and I got very close to [Daniel] Ricciardo ahead of me, and that compromised me a little.”

“These small margins were enough to miss out on the top ten. We’ll be moving up on the grid with a few penalties and I hope to make up some more positions tomorrow.”

2017 Italian Grand Prix

    Browse all Italian Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    17 comments on “Ocon targets podium after qualifying third”

    1. I believe he can do it, as long as he keeps it clean down into the first corner on lap 1. Go, Force India!

    2. Stroll & Ocon will struggle vs Bottas & the Ferraris(if dry).Their battle seem to be with their teammates & they’ll have the advantage as they start 5 & 8 positions above them

      1. Only 6 positions of difference between force indias btw.

        1. Yeah correct.I didnt count the RBR penalties in that case

    3. I reckon he’ll come 5th, as Bottas and the Ferrari’s will come through. But if they have problems, I’d say he’s probably in a better position to get a podium than Stroll.

    4. With only one stop in the race, it all depends on who Ocon and Stroll defend the undercut against. If they try sticking with the Mercedes or Ferraris, they may end up 7-8th.

    5. He won’t be able to defend against Bottas and Ferraris, obviously. And I think the Red Bulls will make short work of the backmarkers and will challenge for the top-6 spots no later than by the half of the race.

      With that said, I had Ocon as the 5th in my prediction championship, needless to say…. Go Ocon!

    6. Given the situation at Force India currently, Ocon certainly flung a large chunk of mud in Checo’s eye with this.

      I’m surprised the conspiracy theorists aren’t out in force, though, as Otmar was caught saying they had ways to separate them on the track after last week’s race. ;/

    7. Califormula1fan
      2nd September 2017, 21:56

      The wet weather at Monza qualifying reveals the truth, Formula 1 drivers come in three tiers this year:

      Tier 1 (Deserve a shot in a championship car): Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Ocon, Stroll, Bottas, Vettel, Raikkonen, and Massa

      Tier 2 (Deserve to be in Formula 1 next season): Vandoorne, Perez, Grosjean, Hulkenburg, and Alonso

      Tier 3 (Should start dusting off their resumes): Kvyatt, Sainz, Magnussen, Palmer, Ericsson, and Wehrlein.

      If the world were fair and objective, which it is not, Kvyatt would be out of his drive next year. He has consistently underperformed this year relative to the car and his team mate. Palmer should be gone too, Renault and Hulkenburg deserve better. Third on the list of “needs to be out Formula 1” is Ericsson. His qualifying times are a good two to three seconds off from what the car can do, he is clearly resigned to be a back marker, and seems to have lost his racing competitive spirit. I’d put Sainz, Magnussen and Weherlein on the bubble. All three have underperformed this year. Torro Rosso would look great next year with two new drivers out of the development circuits. The Group 3 drivers will never be winners, let alone championship contenders, the teams and fans should demand that the best drivers in the world or those who show true promise to become one of the best drivers in the future, should be given those seats. The young guns did so remarkably well in Monza’s wet weather on Saturday, that this fan, for one, would like to see three rookies on the grid next year to see what else F2 and F3 can give the world.

    8. Sorry to be semantic, however the headline is both wrong and misleading. Ocon did not qualify third, Ricciardo did.

      Due grid penalties Ocon will START from third on the grid. Surprised to see this sort of stuff on F1fanantic.

      1. I thought this too. Maybe it could be this: “Ocon targets podium after being moved up to 3rd by other drivers penalties” But this then doesn’t sound right either. I’m not sure how to word it.

        1. Just say, start from 3rd, not qualified 3rd, because this is quite simply untrue. Then we will understand there is a (slight but meaningfull) difference straight away.

          I actually think both RBR,s did a great job, the rest on the front is all merc power, Ferrari only 7 and 8 and Renault and toro Rossoand haas nowhere (van doorne also did great).

          1. I don’t know how Williams are doing so well just due to Mercedes power. Where were they in Silvestone? They were leading this race in 2015 until it rained. Then Bottas and Massa dropped back hugely.
            They were really poor and that Mercedes power didn’t help in the last few races.

            I think Stroll’s lap was more impressive than either of the Red Bulls. He was barley 3 tenths off Verstappen and the Red Bull and Verstappen himself is usually very good in the wet and Williams usually are terrible. Also Stroll too often gets criticized for being a very poor driver himself. Williams looked to be set up right but I think it was Stroll’s skill just as much as his car that brought him this position. To me, he was the most impressive driver in qualifying.

    9. He will crash with stroll at turn 1… wait and see

      1. I was actually thinking the exact same thing. Let’s just hope Lewis doesn’t become a victim of their incident

      2. History suggests it won’t happen @drrapg: Ocon only tangled with Pérez so far.

    10. Hopefully it will indeed happen tomorrow, but unfortunately very unlikely if the race will be both entirely dry and straightforward/uneventful at the same time.

    Comments are closed.