After avoiding the disaster that in lap one completely ruined his team-mates race, Esteban Ocon pulled out one of his best performances so far, managing his intermediate tyres for the whole race without pitting.
He managed to stay in the top-10 after lap one and this assured him a good chance to battle for points where, at the end of the day, he finished the race, by less than half-a-second, after a final lap battle with Antonio Giovinazzi.
During post-race interviews however, Ocon admitted:
“One more lap and I would have got a puncture”.
Over the course of the race, Esteban Ocon and his race engineer, discussed about a tyre change, but as the Frenchman declared:
“When I was fighting with Vettel we were talking about it; should we stop should we keep going?. At the time I had a really good pace. The tyres were in good shape and I thought let’s just keep going.”
Hoping for the best, Ocon and his team decided to stay out but during the final laps, they were very concerned about the front tyres, which, as he said: “During last laps I could clearly see the cord of the tyre from the outside of it."
About the battle with a seven seconds quicker, Antonio Giovinazzi: “I tried to avoid the kerbs as much as I could in order to not damage more the front right tyre; but I think one more lap or just two corners and I would have got overtaken by him or at very least I would have got a puncture”
Ocon also relieved his previous Turkish GP, with very similar weather conditions, during which he also managed to keep the intermediate tyres for almost 47 laps.
He said: “The conditions were pretty similar in some way. And last year, I made it work the whole race with one set. So this year I thought: let’s do a similar thing and we’ll see how it ends.”
At the end of the day, his risky decision paid him back as he assured a point finish to the French team for the fifteenth race in a row.