Esteban Ocon says he is 'close' to finding his comfort level in the Manor already after an eye-catching first day in the MRT05 during free practice for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Making his high profile debut with the Manor team this weekend, the Mercedes development driver was straight up to speed in FP1 as he turned in a time one second quicker than team-mate Pascal Wehrlein en route to the 16th best time.
RESULTS: Belgian Grand Prix – Free practice results (2)
Though the margin is explained away by running disparate programmes to the German – who was an impressive 11th quickest himself in the afternoon -, Ocon says the feeling behind the wheel is good even at this early stage.
“I think I am quite close to [being comfortable],” he said. “This morning I had good pace, this afternoon we had a different programme with Pascal. Let's see how it is tomorrow, tomorrow is the important day and tomorrow is when you need to make the lap in the end. At the moment it is just a learning process.
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“The car felt good and I felt good in it, so after so much preparation, everything came pretty naturally. I got the chance to try out the Supersoft tyre early in the session, which gave me a feel for where the car is versus the competition.
“It looked pretty positive and because it's only Friday, there's something to build on as I get better acquainted with everything. I lost a bit of time this afternoon, but we've done what we set out to achieve. I'm looking forward to talking through the data tonight and coming back even stronger tomorrow.”
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