Ocon hopeful it will come good in race

Fox in the box – Nenad Krsticic

Manor’s Esteban Ocon was disappointed not to finish higher up the grid during qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday, but said he was hoping things would “come good during the race.”

The Frenchman qualified in 21st for Sunday's race at Suzuka, but said it could have been much better if it wasn’t for a mistake at Turn 14 during his final run.

“[There was] quite a bit more in the tank, unfortunately,” Ocon said.

“I made a small mistake in Turn 14, which I’m pretty unhappy with, and which could have put us ahead of Sauber.

“So it was pretty tight with them and I feel bad for the guys because everything on my side has been strong this weekend. I hope to make it up to them in the race tomorrow.

“We’ve made good progress here that is not always easy for those outside to see, but I’m hoping it will come good in the race.”

Teammate Pascal Wehrlein, who was slapped with a grid penalty after an overnight gearbox change, eventually finished 0.208 seconds behind Ocon and tried to remain positive after more problems affected his performance in qualifying.

“Last night we had to change the gearbox, so I have a grid penalty,” said Wehrlein. “Then this morning we had another problem that meant I wasn’t able to complete my qualifying preparation; I didn’t get to finish my soft tyre run.

“So it’s difficult to find the positives in the weekend so far. I guess the grid penalty doesn’t affect us from where we’re starting, but it’s still pretty disappointing.

“I love the Suzuka track; it’s really nice and challenging, and the first sector in particular is awesome. It will be tough, but we need a good start, a good strategy, fast pit stops and some opportunities to come our way. We’ll push hard for a good result.”

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