Esteban Ocon left Brazil with a sentiment of defeat despite a strong performance by the Manor rookie in Sunday’s race.
The French hopeful started at the back of the pack but took full advantage of the treacherous weather conditions to race all the way up to 8th at the end of the first Safety Car period.
Amid chaotic weather conditions, the Manor driver superbly held his own for most of the race, and a top ten finish, but was ultimately defenseless in the very last laps of the race against both Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas.
“I was pushing as hard as I could – throughout the whole race in fact,” Ocon said.
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“In the third race stint – after the second red flag – it was clear I just had to push to catch Felipe (Nasr) because the chances of him coming back down the order to a position of safety were diminishing.
“I did what I could, but the cars behind me were closing and in the end they just had the pace to get by. There are so many reasons to feel disappointed that I can’t just single that one out; my first Formula 1 point would have been nice.
“I’m really disappointed and sad for all of us.”
Ocon faced a chilling moment when he suddenly found a stranded Kimi Raikkonen right in his path on the main straight, just missing the Ferrari by inches.
“It was such a difficult race and though I have my own feelings on whether the race should have continued, that doesn’t matter. If the track is declared fit to race on, we have to race and do the best job we can.
“But there were some pretty scary moments, and I was so lucky to react so quickly to the Kimi incident.”
2016 Brazilian Grand Prix – Driver ratings
FULL REPORT: Hamilton wins delayed Brazilian GP to take title to wire
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