Esteban Ocon: Force India maximised Monza result

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Despite being left disappointed he was unable to record his first Formula One podium, Esteban Ocon reckons Force India can be pleased it maximised its result at the Italian Grand Prix.

Ocon was one of the standout performers in a wet qualifying session on Saturday, as he secured third place on the grid -- after engine penalties were applied to Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo -- with a superb lap in treacherous conditions.

The Frenchman jumped front-row starter Lance Stroll into Turn 1 on the opening lap but was unable to hold onto second place and was soon passed by Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. Ocon lost a further position to Kimi Raikkonen during the pit stops, while Ricciardo also leapfrogged the Force India driver as he recovered from 16th on the grid to claim an impressive fourth.

Ocon ultimately came home sixth but insists his finishing position was a realistic reflection of Force India's performance at Monza.

"It's mixed feelings I would say," Ocon said. "I'm happy with P6, definitely, but I wanted my podium which I didn't get today. So I'm still hungry for it, but I think we maximised the result. I'm a little disappointed because I really wanted to finish on the podium today. But you have to be realistic and we didn't have the pace to match Mercedes and Ferrari, so I think sixth place was the maximum we could achieve.

"The Ferraris were faster than us, I had a good fight with them, I thought I could keep Raikkonen behind but I didn't manage to and the Red Bull was faster. I also had a good battle with Stroll for most of the race and I had to work hard to keep him behind me."

Force India teammate Sergio Perez -- another driver to receive a grid penalty for technical infringements -- completed a double-points finish for the Silverstone-based outfit by finishing ninth. The Mexican believes a slow pit-stop hampered his chances of getting past the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Stroll in the closing stages.

"The car felt good and I was strong in the first stint, despite some damage picked up at Turn 2, but things got more difficult after the pit-stop," he explained. "We had a slow stop and I got stuck in traffic: I think I lost a couple of seconds and that's what made the difference between us and Williams. We gave everything to get back to them, but we ran out of laps to pass them. Perhaps with two extra laps I would have made it, but that's racing."