When Esteban Ocon prepared to get off the line in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix, the target was clear for the Force India driver: secure a points finish. But within a matter of corners, his race was compromised after a collision with Nico Hulkenberg. He later clashed with Brendon Hartley, ultimately coming home in P11 – and afterwards he labelled the race ‘the worst of his Formula 1 career so far’…
Force India rolled the dice in qualifying and opted against fighting for a Q3 appearance, with Ocon securing 11th on the grid, giving him free choice of tyres for the race. With the four cars in front of him – both Saubers and Renaults - on hypersofts, the Frenchman had every chance of delivering a result for his team.
He enjoyed a fantastic start too, passing both Saubers on the run down to Turn 1. But then he collided with Renault's Hulkenberg, breaking his front wing. He was forced to pit, dropping him to the back of the pack, and a later collision with Toro Rosso’s Hartley added to his frustrations.
“This has been probably the worst race of my whole Formula 1 career so far,” said Ocon following what proved to be a tough afternoon in Mexico City.
“Nothing went our way and it’s just been a terrible afternoon. I made a very good start, managed to pass the two Saubers on the run down to turn one, but that’s pretty much the only positive to take from today.
“I went alongside Nico [Hulkenberg] in Turn 3 but I saw he was going to turn in. I braked to avoid a collision, but we still made contact and it broke my front wing. I had to pit at the end of the first lap and my race was effectively over.