Esteban Ocon has said he feels "much more comfortable" fighting against Force India Formula 1 teammate Sergio Perez on tracks familiar from his debut with Manor last year, having recently enjoyed the edge over his Mexican counterpart.

Ocon joined F1 halfway through last season, replacing Rio Haryanto from Spa onwards at Manor. He finished every grand prix with the backmarker team but scored no points until his Force India debut this year.

Having out-qualified more experienced teammate Sergio Perez for four races in a row, Ocon said that it helped to be driving tracks he was now more familiar with as he bids to make up the nine-point gap between them in the drivers' standings.

"I'm here to push, I'm here to challenge Sergio. For sure it's been a very close season, we are fighting with really little margin," Ocon said.

"But driving for the second time on tracks we have driven before with Manor helps me a lot with my experience, and also finishing all the races. I feel much more comfortable now."

Perez and Ocon have clashed frequently over the course of the year, leading to the team putting in rules on how they could race each other in order to avoid retirements.

However, the two have remained extremely competitive, with Force India clinching fourth place in the constructors' championship with two races remaining last time out in Mexico.

"It's been a great season for us. Of course we come here with fourth place, it's an amazing achievement for us, thanks to the team," Ocon said.

"I thank everyone, there are a few key people, Andy Stevenson, Andy Green, and Otmar [Szafnauer]. I thank everyone there for a great season we've had.

"Hopefully we can finish the last two races very well like we did before and start the next one well."

 

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