Force India owner Vijay Mallya says Esteban Ocon is only going to get 'better with experience' following an impressive start to his first full season in F1 with the team.

Ocon joined Force India after an eye-catching six-race stint with the minnow Manor Racing team last season, beating fellow Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein to the seat.

Despite his relative inexperience, Ocon has given a star turn so far this season in the VJM10 with points in all but one of the opening ten races, placing him eighth in the standings just nine points behind team-mate Sergio Perez.

It is a success Mallya says vindicates the 'tough call' to put his faith in a rookie despite Force India's loftier bargaining position on the back of its impressive run of recent results.

"I'm very impressed. We had a tough call to make over the winter about who our driver was going to be. There were only rookies available and I think we made the right choice. For a guy who had maybe all of six Formula 1 races under his belt for Manor in 2016, he's been right out of the blocks and into the points from Australia, so I'm very impressed."

"He's only going to mature and get better. You know that experience is hugely important, and the more experience he gets the better he's going to become. I mean, he has the talent, which has showed up already, nobody has to doubt that. I'm quite happy we have him, I'm happy we have him signed up on a multi-year contract, so I'm expecting regular point-scoring finishes from him."

Though Ocon has courted some controversy over his relationship with Perez after a team orders furore in Canada was followed by a costly clash in Azerbaijan, Mallya is satisfied it was a mere error and not 'road rage.

"In Baku I think it went a step too far where the cars unfortunately came together, but once again there was no road rage or anything deliberate at all. It's just one of those things where Esteban tried to pass Checo on the inside, thought he had left Checo enough room but obviously had not. So I would put that down to an error of judgement."


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