Esteban Ocon says he cried when crossing the F1 finish line on the final lap of the Sakhir Grand Prix after securing his maiden podium.

The Frenchman made the most of the one-stop strategy and Mercedes’ pit issues to pick up Renault’s third podium of 2020.

It’s been a difficult return to F1 for Ocon - who took a year out in 2019 - having been consistently beaten by Daniel Ricciardo but the Frenchman hopes his first rostrum will help silence the doubters.

"I've no words. I cried on the line," Ocon said. "That's how much emotion is going through my mind, actually. "Now, it's been a tough season, on our side. It hasn't paid off all the time, but we never stopped pushing, we kept working hard, and kept staying motivated. That was very important.

"At the moment where there's less and less people believing in you, it's important to believe in yourself and today we made it happen. I'm very pleased with it so it's hard work, but it paid off."

Ocon acknowledged the difficulties he’s had in 2020 and said having Ricciardo as a teammate has allowed him to improve.

"Daniel is a fantastic benchmark," Ocon added. "He has done a very solid season into his second season at Renault, and he has stepped up.

"But overall, you know, I feel like my progression has been strong as well. And I'm closing the gap to him and, to have that podium, is the cherry on the cake."

Renault sits fifth in the constructors’ championship going into the Abu Dhabi finale, 12 points behind McLaren in fourth and 22 points behind third-placed Racing Point.