Sport Esteban Ocon: France's next F1 champion

20:16  12 october  2017
20:16  12 october  2017 Source:   readsport.co

Bottas tops FP3 despite finding the barriers

  Bottas tops FP3 despite finding the barriers Mercedes finished 1-2 in the final practice session ahead of the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas leading Lewis Hamilton. Bottas’ session was, however, curtailed when he damaged his car after hitting the wall on the exit of Spoon Curve. Contrary to forecasts, the rain that effectively rendered FP2 useless yesterday cleared ahead of the final practice session. However, FP3 was instead truncated by two red flag periods. 20 minutes into the session, Bottas ran wide on the exit of Spoon Curve. Dragged onto the grass via the astro-turf lining the corner exit, Bottas grazed the wall several times and damaged his rear-right wheel hub as will as his front wing, bargeboards and the floor. With the entire right-rear corner of Bottas’ car requiring repair, the incident marked a premature end to his session. He now enters qualifying with significantly limited mileage combined with a five-place grid penalty for his prior gearbox change. Just four minutes after the resumption of the session, Kimi Raikkonen was the next driver to find the barriers. A snap of oversteer at Degner 2 launched the Ferrari into the gravel trap. Raikkonen was then rendered a passenger en route to the wall. Sebastian Vettel had suffered an almost identical slide earlier in the session. On that occasion, Vettel recognised the issue earlier, catching the slide and minimising the damage to a comparatively uneventful trip through the gravel.

Esteban Ocon (born 17 September 1996) is a French racing driver who currently drives in Formula One for Force India. He made his Formula One debut for Manor Racing in the 2016 Belgian Grand

Next Previous Enlarge. Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05 at Formula One World Championship , Rd20, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday 11 November 2016.

At the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix, Estaban Ocon equalled the record held by Max Chilton of 25 race finishes in his first 25 Formula 1 races. In fact, Ocon hasn’t retired since August 2014, making that an astonishing 53 consecutive single-seater races without a retirement. While the phrase ‘slow but steady’ comes to mind in the case of Chilton’s achievement, that clearly isn’t the case with Ocon. This statistic just underlines the fact that Ocon is going to emerge as one of the real stars of this new generation of drivers.

He may have been lucky with the reliability of his Force India machinery, but it takes real talent to tangle with your team-mate and fight near the front without coming into any trouble. It is not as if Ocon has pottered around towards the back in order to finish; he has scored points in all but one race of 2017. A puncture dropped the Frenchman down into 12th in Monaco, still a respectable finish for a driver who had not yet completed his first full year of F1.That’s difficult to achieve. You don’t get those kinds of results by accident.

Hamilton beats Bottas to maiden Suzuka pole

  Hamilton beats Bottas to maiden Suzuka pole Championship leader Lewis Hamilton beat his Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix; marking Hamilton’s first pole at Suzuka. Hamilton topped all three qualifying sessions, setting a 1m27.319s to take pole in Q3. Bottas was just over three tenths adrift of the Brit. The Finn will take a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change. Daniel Ricciardo beat Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen to fourth place, which will become third tomorrow due to Bottas’ penalty. Fellow countryman Kimi Raikkonen also has a gearbox penalty and will start 11th tomorrow after qualifying a distant sixth. This will promote Esteban Ocon onto the third row of the grid. The Frenchman beat team-mate Sergio Perez by 0.149s to the seventh fastest time in Q3. Felipe Massa was ninth. 2015 GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne was edged out of Q2 by his McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso by just 0.029s. The Spaniard qualified 10th but will start last due to grid penalties. Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer all missed out on a spot in Q3, qualifying 12th, 13th and 14th respectively. Carlos Sainz Jr has a 20-place grid penalty for the race so he opted to save his super-soft tyres in Q2 thus qualifying 15th on worn tyres. Romain Grosjean binned his Haas with just over a minute of Q1 remaining, prematurely ending the session and denying those in the bottom five a chance to improve. Grosjean was 16th ahead of his fellow countryman Pierre Gasly. Lance Stroll felt he was blocked by Perez at the final chicane, the incident grounded down in 18th only ahead of the Sauber duo of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

France . All Alonso, Fernando Bottas, Valtteri Ericsson, Marcus Gasly, Pierre Grosjean, Romain Hamilton, Lewis Hartley, Brendon Hulkenberg, Nico Leclerc, Charles Magnussen, Kevin Ocon , Esteban Perez, Sergio Ricciardo, Daniel Räikkönen, Kimi Sainz, Carlos Sirotkin, Sergey Stroll, Lance

Esteban Ocon Retweeted. Equipe de France ‏Verified account @equipedefrance Jul 10. It was a dream, it will become true next week and I can’t wait! C’était un rêve, ça va devenir réalité le week end prochain et j’ai hâte!

Force India could not have asked for more when they signed Ocon. He’s pushing Sergio Perez to an extent that the Mexican perhaps hadn’t bargained for. At the moment Perez still has the upper hand, sitting one place higher in the championship standings with an extra 17 points, but Ocon has made it clear he’s not here in a supporting role. He’s in it to win it and to make his mark as a Mercedes protégée.

Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport © Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

This is the driver who beat Max Verstappen to the 2014 European Formula 3 championship. While Verstappen was whisked away to Toro Rosso for 2015, Ocon stepped up to GP3, to claim another title and to gain more vital experience for when his time in the spotlight came.

Rosberg: Hamilton one of the best

  Rosberg: Hamilton one of the best Nico Rosberg has heralded the "immense" Lewis Hamilton as one of the best of all-time after his former team-mate took a 71st career pole.World champion Nico Rosberg has heralded the "immense" Lewis Hamilton as one of the best of all-time after his former team-mate and title rival took a 71st career pole, and his first at the Japanese GP.

VICE Sports sat down with rising F 1 star Esteban Ocon to discuss the new grand prix season, his old rivalry with Max Verstappen From there, Ocon ' s progress was swift: European F3 champion in 2014, GP3 Series champion in 2015, then a Mercedes seat in the German touring car series DTM last year.

The first thing that strikes you about Esteban Ocon is his height. By normal standards he is reasonably lofty, standing at a lean 6" 1 From there, Ocon ' s progress was swift: European F3 champion in 2014, GP3 Series champion in 2015, then a Mercedes seat in the German touring car series DTM last year.

Ocon needs to prove that he is one of the very best of his generation, a driver who can be the future for Mercedes or Ferrari. He has everything to gain from beating Perez. He’s a highly rated known quantity, with years of F1 experience behind him. Ocon might not be taking the world by storm in the way that Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton did in their debut years but he’s almost doing something better. He’s laying the groundwork, building the foundations for a fantastic career. He’s got an opportunity to become a more rounded, prepared driver. He doesn’t need the hype. He’s learning how to walk before he runs.

Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport © Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

That said, he’s doing everything that can be asked of a young driver. He’s consistently bringing home the points, he’s pushing his experienced team-mate and making the most of the car. People may not be shouting it from the rooftops and it might not be making the headlines but Ocon’s first full season in F1 has been very impressive indeed.

Hamilton beats Verstappen to win Japanese GP as Vettel retires

  Hamilton beats Verstappen to win Japanese GP as Vettel retires Lewis Hamilton stormed to his fourth win in five races in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix ahead of Max Verstappen, while championship rival Sebastian Vettel retired with a mechanical problem. Hamilton led from pole, while Vettel was a sitting duck on the straights in the opening laps. Falling from second to outside the top 10 with a spark plug failure, before Ferrari decided to retire the German. Championship leader Hamilton survived a consistent challenge from Verstappen, but the Dutchman rarely posed a serious threat to Hamilton’s victory chances aside from a tense penultimate lap as they struggled to pass the lapped Fernando Alonso. At the chequered flag, Hamilton beat Verstappen by 1.211s, the podium was completed by Daniel Ricciardo, who was passed by Esteban Ocon on the opening lap but the Australian passed Ocon on lap 10. Ricciardo was caught by Valtteri Bottas, who started down in sixth place after a gearbox penalty, at the end of the race but the Finn failed to find a way past and had to settle for fourth position. His fellow countryman Kimi Raikkonen rose from an early off to fifth place. The Force India duo of Ocon and Sergio Perez were sixth and seventh, the latter unsuccessfully attempted to convince the team to swap the positions. Haas earned its second-ever double-points finish with Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean coming home eighth and ninth. Felipe Massa fended off a late charge from Fernando Alonso to seal the final point.

Esteban Ocon , left, leads Lewis Hamilton in Monaco -- but not for long. Photo by Motorsport Images-LAT. Read this next . See MoreFormula 1 .

A 21-year-old Mercedes junior that looks destined for big things and promises to be France ’ s next Formula 1 star. Like many young drivers, Ocon began his motorsport career by entering karting in 2006.

The next time you’re voting for your driver of the day look past Hamilton storming to victory with ease once again. Look past Verstappen’s breathtakingly brave passes and Sebastian Vettel’s final desperate attempts to save a championship that once looked to be going in his favour. Instead remember Ocon, quietly, rather ingloriously gathering points and showing that whatever the circumstances he can be relied upon to do what he needs to do. Max Verstappen, watch your back.

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice © Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice

Hamilton edges Vettel in FP3 at COTA .
Lewis Hamilton was fastest for the third consecutive practice session ahead of Sunday’s US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas. Hamilton edged Sebastian Vettel by just 0.092s at the chequered flag. Valtteri Bottas completed the top three. Mercedes has locked out the front row for the last three years at this circuit. Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, 0.277s adrift of pacesetter Hamilton. Max Verstappen, who is set to start the race from the back of the grid, ended the 60-minute session with the fifth fastest time. Brazilian Felipe Massa was a surprise sixth quickest for Williams, nearly eight tenths quicker than team-mate Lance Stroll. The Renault duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr were seventh and eighth, separated by just 0.042s. Daniel Ricciardo was only ninth fastest, his last effort was hampered when he ran off the track at the opening turn. Sergio Perez was 10th with Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon only fractionally slower in 11th. The McLaren duo of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne were 13th and 14th, just behind Stroll. Brendon Hartley was 15th quickest ahead of his maiden Formula 1 qualifying session. Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat spent the majority of the session in the garage with mechanical woes. Romain Grosjean was also left frustrated, the Frenchman beached his Haas in the gravel in the twisty opening sector with half the session remaining leading to the virtual safety car being deployed. Marcus Ericsson was 17th fastest for Sauber, nearly half a second ahead of team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.

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