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Lack of grip deprives Ocon of top-ten start


For the first time since Singapore, Esteban Ocon failed to make the top-ten Q3 cut after qualifying P11 for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

A model of consistency this year in his first full season of F1, the Force driver missed out by a few hundredths of a second, noting that his car had not improved as much as expected from Friday to Saturday.

"It was not a perfect session and I just missed out on making Q3," said the French driver.

"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."

Ocon will however launch his race on Sunday from the fifth row as he'll benefit from Daniel Ricciardo's engine penalty and subsequent grid drop.

"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."

Force India's Bob Fernley also underlined the team's positive race pace which bodes well for another batch of points tomorrow.

"Everybody continues to put in a huge effort to maintain our competitiveness and to be starting from fifth and tenth places on the grid gives us a great opportunity to do well tomorrow," said the pink outfit's deputy team principal.

"Esteban was disappointed not to get more from the session, but the long run pace should allow him to race well tomorrow.

"The weather looks brighter for the race and we will do our best to convert these qualifying positions into a strong result on Sunday."

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