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Ocon pushing for maiden podium finish

© XPB 

Esteban Ocon will launch his race from the second row tomorrow, the bit firmly between his teeth as the Force India driver targets his very first podium finish.

The French driver enjoyed a consistent and combative qualifying session, just edging out team mate Sergio Perez by 0.002s to secure his spot in the Q3 top-ten shootout.

In treacherous conditions, Ocon ended the afternoon fifth fastest but is elevated to  third on the grid thanks to the grid penalty-linked demotion of the Red Bull pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

"It’s amazing," said Ocon. "That’s what the team deserves, they work so hard on every aspect. To get that P3 is something amazing.

"The car was brilliant today, a perfect balance, and I managed to push it to the limit. Now we have to keep P3 in the race – I want my podium!

"I adjusted the car [for the conditions] but it will work in the dry like it did on Friday, so starting from there we have a big opportunity ahead and we need to keep our head down to get it."

Ocon admitted that he drew upon his wet weather experience in his formative years  to master the day's conditions, thoroughly enjoying his rainy day.

"I've been growing up with the rain and it's fantastic to see that in a Formula 1 car I can still manage to do good stuff.

"The team have put so much effort to get those results, and now we start third. I will go give them a big hug right now!"

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