On his last run, while trying to get into Q2, Esteban Ocon was forced to slow down due to yellow flags. After the session, he said that he lost half a second. Therefore, he did not make it into Q2.
Esteban was trying to improve his time, but during his lap, Nikita Mazepin spun at turn one, and the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz suffered an engine failure. Because of those two inconveniences, yellow flags were exposed, and the French driver had to slow down. While doing this, he could not improve his time, and he was knocked out of Q1.
Despite this, the French driver remains positive since tomorrow is the day where points are scored. However, it is also true that Ocon did not have a great start to the season, while his teammate, Fernando Alonso, qualified in P9.
“We came into qualifying with good expectations, we thought everything would be fine. The car was performing well. We lost at least half a second with which we could have gone to Q2. I am disappointed, but tomorrow is when it counts and when the results come. Hopefully, we can fight for points,” said Ocon.
Not only was he affected by a double yellow flag, but he also admitted that he made a mistake during one of his laps, which also damaged his qualifying session.
“I blocked a bit in turn 8. I made a small mistake, which made me lose some time. Before that, I was very close. Fernando has been very fast in the session from the beginning to the end,” he added.
Despite starting at the back of the grid, the French driver said that the real pace of the car is more similar to the one that Alonso showed.
“It’s difficult to read from the tests. We knew where we were, but we didn’t know where the rest were. The true pace is seen on a race weekend, and I think Fernando’s ninth position is where we are this weekend.”
“The small details make the difference. We have seen that we have been better in the afternoon sessions than in the morning sessions, which is quite beneficial for us. This track damages the tires a lot, and if you suffer a lot with your tires in some parts, at the end of the lap you will suffer more. We still have to work on a couple of balance things, but it’s not so bad. We have good feedback from me and Fernando to know where we have to go.”
Finally, other drivers had problems with yellow flags, for instance: Sebastian Vettel. The German driver needs to go to the stewards tomorrow at 1:30 PM for not respecting the double yellow flag. We will keep you posted on this.