Ocon declares P10 in F1 Mexico GP “a lot of fighting for one point”

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The Mexican Grand Prix treated the crowd to an unexpected race on Sunday with 4 DNFs, including Mexican driver Sergio Perez, who failed to finish after contact with Charles Leclerc at turn 1.

Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon managed to claim P10 after a difficult first stint, bringing the French team one more point for the season.

The Evreux-born driver said it was tough at the beginning partly because of the strategy. He was on hards and was at the back of the pack of the drivers who didn’t pit inside the opening 15 laps.

What was crucial for Ocon was gaining three places on the second restart to move himself to P11, before passing Hülkenberg with six laps to go to move into 10th.

“A lot of fighting for one point, that’s for sure, a hard-fought race. But I think the second part [was] very good.

“Obviously we took the pain at the beginning of the race with the strategy risk we took. We knew it was going to be difficult for the first stint, but for the second one, we gained 3 places at the start.

“Hard-fought point with Nico at the end.”

Ocon explained that a lack of straight-line speed really hurt Alpine throughout the weekend and that made it really difficult for him to pass.

“We were not fast in the straights this weekend which made things difficult to race, but we still got him, and it feels good.

“Never give up, I think that’s the phrase for today, because that is really the case.”

Photo: Juan Gutiérrez P. / IG @juan_guti

Ocon warned Haas on the radio about sending it on the German: “You can tell Haas I’m coming for him, so they better be ready!”

The 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix winner explained why he said that on the radio. Ultimately he had to wait for Hülkenberg’s tyres to completely fall off before making the move.

“The goal of that message is that they should warn Nico that he has to leave the space, because the only chance I had was basically to pass was under braking, so it was going to be a muscle move.

“And that was to warn them, there was no intention to say ‘I’m going to fight and I’m going to pass you’. No. It was more to warn them that it was going to be a muscular pass.”

The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez did not seem to favour Alpine as they never looked like a Q3 contender. Ocon said there are several things he would have changed if they ran at the track again this weekend.

“I think we struggled more than usual this weekend. I think we were clearly more competitive in the past races, so we need to look at things.

“We have clearly have a few things that were not great this weekend. So if we had to do the weekend again, we would probably change quite a bit.

“So yeah, I didn’t feel it was a maximised weekend in terms of pace and hopefully it will be next week.”

Heading into the Brazilian Grand Prix, the Frenchman is twelfth in the drivers’ championship and the Enstone-based team sixth in the constructors’ championship.