Spa-Francorchamps has provided Esteban Ocon with some of his favourite Formula 1 memories. From making his debut there in 2016, to qualifying in the top three in 2018, it’s been a special one for the Frenchman, who aims for a strong run this weekend.
What makes Spa-Francorchamps so challenging?
It’s a demanding circuit for performance and the three sectors are all very special. I think we can perform well in Spa. Anything can happen in the race, so it’ll be an interesting weekend and we’ll aim to do our best.
It’s been a special place for you in the past, Formula 1 debut in 2016, top three in qualifying in 2018, what do you remember about those moments?
I made my debut in Formula 1 there, so Spa is full of nice memories. I would say it’s a unique track in the way you can develop as a driver. I remember being there in my first year in single-seaters and everything felt so big with those legendary corners. Then, the more you go through the junior categories you feel the difference year after year until you reach Formula 1. It felt like a good track to make my Formula 1 debut! Of course, qualifying third on the grid is one of my best memories in Formula 1 so far. It was at a crucial time when I needed to prove I deserved to be in Formula 1. To stand in the top three with Lewis [Hamilton] and Sebastian [Vettel] was something special.
How do you evaluate the past three races?
It was good to come away from the races with points scored, even though we missed out in Spain. The car felt good in Silverstone and we definitely made a step from Hungary. I think we have a bit of work to do, but I know we’ll get there. I have new parts on my car, which should help performance. I’m looking forward to that and I feel fresh after a week off and ready to race.