Esteban Ocon says going “over the limit” was the reason for his costly spin at the end of Formula 1 qualifying for the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello.

Ocon spun his Renault at Turn 5 on his final Q3 attempt, resulting in a yellow flag period which impacted several drivers including Valtteri Bottas and Renault team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who had to abandon their final efforts in qualifying.

Reflecting on his spin, Ocon said: “My mistake. Definitely the car was performing very well. We made a massive step in terms of confidence and balance from P3.  A step up in performance as well. Which was looking great. Q1 and Q2 were looking quite strong, and in Q2 I made a mistake in the last corner, so I knew there was going to be good lap possible in Q3. 



“I decided to go for it, and went a bit over the limit. And this track bites you if you go a bit over that limit. So it is a shame, but there will be plenty of opportunities tomorrow looking at how decent the car was today. Even if it will be difficult to overtake, I think at the start there will be a few things happening. So it is up to us to try and get them.”

With the Frenchman set to start the race from tenth, Ocon is hopeful overtaking will be easier than expected, as it was in the Formula 3 feature race on Saturday morning.

“I hope it will be,” Ocon added. “It would be a good surprise, if it is what we expect that is going to be difficult to follow from fast corner after fast corner… F3 they follow quite close to each other, and with the long DRS there are a lot of overtakes from one lap to another. 

“In F2 there was a tyre difference, and safety cars, and that is what made the race so interesting. So let us see. This year everything we predicted did not actually happen many times. So anything can happen this year. So that is why I am saying there will be opportunities for us tomorrow.”