- Esteban Ocon [Copyright: Force India F1 Team]

Japanese qualifying further indicates Force India's progress, says Esteban Ocon

Force India is going from strength to strength in the 2017 Formula 1 season, with further progress made in Japanese Grand Prix qualifying from the upgrades brought.

The two drivers eased into Q3 with Esteban Ocon in seventh managing to out-qualify Sergio Perez for the second race in a row, going 5-11 in the head to head comparison.

With penalties to drivers ahead, Ocon will start Sunday's race from fifth alongside Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, while Perez starts from seventh.

The Frenchman has credited the team for the developments for the improved run. "The car has been fantastic since the beginning of the weekend, just as it was in Malaysia," said Ocon.

"Our result today shows the progress we have made recently developing the car. Whether it’s been wet or dry, the car has been quick, and we’ve only had to make small adjustments to find the performance.

"It’s not going to be easy to keep that position [we start] tomorrow, but we definitely want to do that. It is not an easy track to overtake and we saw that Raikkonen struggled to pass in Monza, so hopefully we can keep that and score good points."

Meanwhile, Perez said he lost some time in final chicane which resulted in him losing the position to Ocon, but the Mexican was happy to have beaten their immediate rivals.

"The team did a great job despite the limited running, splitting the practice programme between both cars to find the best set-up," he said.

"I believe we maximised the potential of the car and got the best result we could today, so I am happy. We were expecting a bigger fight in the midfield.

"But I am pleased we were this far ahead of our rivals and close to the Red Bulls. Tomorrow will be a long race but I think we can score a lot of points because our race pace is good."

[Image courtesy: Force India F1 Team] #F1 #ForceIndia #Motorsport #JapaneseGP #Japan #Formula1

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