Esteban Ocon believes he has made considerable progress as a racing driver through the opening four Formula 1 races of the 2017 season, having scored points in every start so far for Force India.

Ocon made his F1 debut in Belgium last year with the backmarker Manor team before securing a move up to Force India for 2017, taking his maiden point in Australia.

The Frenchman followed this up with runs to P10 in China and Bahrain before finishing seventh last time out in Russia, marking his best result in F1 to date.

As well as enjoying an upswing in on-track results, Ocon also feels that the gap to his experienced team-mate, Sergio Perez, has shrunk in recent races.

"Overall my improvement has been big," Ocon said. "In Australia if we check, compared to Checo in Australia, I started not very close from him and then managed to recover all the time, in Bahrain I was faster in qualy than him. In Sochi we were fighting together for more or less the same lap times, the same pace.

"So overall I'm pretty happy with my improvement during the season, my understanding also and how I'm getting along with the team. So that's good. I need to do more steps for the future races."

Ocon feels that he has made the most progress in his qualifying form, working to improve his one-lap pace.

"I think really qualifying," Ocon said when asked where he felt he had made a step forward in 2017. "I always feel more comfortable in the race. I've always been struggling a bit more in qualifying. I think in one lap pace I've been improving a lot.

"Also to know how to set up the car with my engineers, I've always had a strong car for the race. I think we improved that a lot on my side. I'm now able to get a good pace in qualifying, so that's good."


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