Esteban Ocon hopes his brilliant performance during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix will go some way in ensuring Formula 1 teams cannot ignore him for a 2019 seat.

Ocon’s future beyond this season is uncertain following the recent takeover of the rebranded Force India squad, with Lance Stroll being increasingly linked with a switch from Williams after his father, Lawrence Stroll, led a consortium to rescue the team from administration.

The Frenchman turned in a superb display in wet conditions in Q3 to seal third spot on the grid for Sunday’s race, marking his joint-best qualifying result in F1.



Speaking after the session had ended, Ocon admitted: “My future is not done at the moment. I don’t know where I will race next year or what I will do.

“The only thing I can do is to do well on-track, to focus, do the same job as before, try to do the best, and if you do a strong job in Formula 1, the teams, they can't skip you. They have to have you. That's what I'm trying to do.”

Ocon’s performance received praise from polesitter Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, with both suggesting that he deserves a competitive drive next season.

When asked what it means to have support from multiple world champions, Ocon replied: “It’s awesome to hear that. I’m very happy to hear that. Of course, I want to be racing next year, and I’m doing everything for it, I’m working very hard every day for it.

“To hear great things from those two champions is just fantastic. I will see what the future is going to bring. I’m managed by Mercedes, and they’ve taken great decisions for me in the past, so I’m sure it will be the same again for me in the future hopefully, and I will be sorted out.”

Teammate Sergio Perez placed his car just behind in fourth to secure a second-row lock-out for Racing Point Force India. Ocon was thrilled both drivers were able to make the most of the conditions and score the team’s best qualifying result of 2018.

“When it’s damp conditions like this, you have an opportunity and you have something to do,” he explained. “It’s always closer between the cars when the conditions are like that.

“Today we maximised the potential of our car. Last time it rained, I was also starting third, so it's the second time it rains and I'm starting third, so it's a fantastic result.

“Great to perform like this after a difficult time for Force India. That’s totally behind now. We are focusing on this weekend. The car has been strong even in the dry this weekend. Hopefully we'll get a great result tomorrow.”


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