Ocon "happier" with Renault in qualifying despite Q2 exit

Renault Formula 1 driver Esteban Ocon believes that he’s making good progress in qualifying, despite missing out on Q3 in Portugal.

The Frenchman finished the Q2 session in Portimao in 11th place, just 0.133s behind his team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who did get through.

At the last race in the Nurburgring the gap between the pair in the final session was just 0.019s, although on that occasion both men started well inside the top 10.

Ocon has been under some pressure recently as he has been outscored and outpaced by Ricciardo, but he sees the closer gap in qualifying as a positive sign.

“Definitely happier with the pace we have found recently,” he said. “A bit frustrated that it’s always on the same side. When you have [19] hundredths in Nurburgring and one-tenth here, it can go either way.

“I’m a lot happier with the way we work, with my side of the garage, we are understanding the weekend and just building up basically. It’s a lot better since a couple of events, so we will keep that going.”

Read Also:

Ocon admitted that the team had struggled to hone the car on the slippery Portimao track.

“We definitely struggled a bit more today and yesterday, just to use as best we could the tyres and try to get the balance of the car right.

“The rear has been light all weekend, it has been unstable. This was the main issue of the car the whole weekend, which we did improve, but not to the extent we wanted to. The positive thing I think is to have a free choice of tyre for tomorrow.

“We are not far from the points either. There could be some rain, so there’s plenty of stuff that can happen. But obviously today we struggled a bit more than recently.

“I hope we are going to be passing some cars, because we are obviously not where we want to be. The target is going to be to get back into the points."

Ocon also witnessed Ricciardo spinning off in Q2 when caught out by the wind: “I was aware he was coming. I did let him through on the inside with quite a lot of space.

“But I did lose the car on the previous lap, on my side there, exactly. The wind picked up basically on that run, and he did take a gust of wind, as much as I did on the previous run.”

shares
comments
The updates that have helped Red Bull close in on Mercedes

Previous article

The updates that have helped Red Bull close in on Mercedes

Next article

Haas: Overheating rear suspension is altering ride height

Haas: Overheating rear suspension is altering ride height
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Portuguese GP
Drivers Esteban Ocon
Author Adam Cooper
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021