ESTE­BAN OCON

Force In­dia’s new sign­ing is in the pink and lov­ing it. Your ques­tions re­veal a love of Le Mans – but not in a sportscar – in­spi­ra­tion from a French F1 hero of the 1970s, and his at­ti­tude to for­mer team-mate Pas­cal Wehrlein

F1 Racing - - COVER STORY - WORDS JAMES ROBERTS POR­TRAITS : LORENZO BEL­LANCA

Este­ban Ocon ex­tends the top half of his lanky frame over the bal­cony at the rear of Force In­dia’s hos­pi­tal­ity unit and peers into the murky wa­ter be­low. Here at the Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit is a piece of ar­chi­tec­turally in­trigu­ing but not al­ways user-friendly Her­mann Tilke whimsy: the pad­dock build­ings rest on stilts atop the ves­ti­gial re­mains of the swamp­land that used to dom­i­nate this area.

It is upon this Sty­gian soup that one of our read­ers’ ques­tion cards now oats, al­ready well beyond even Este­ban’s long-armed grasp as the rip­ples on the sur­face carry it away from our view. He emits a furtive but good-na­tured chuckle; for­tu­nately he’d al­ready nished an­swer­ing all of your ques­tions.

Ocon has quickly set­tled in to his new home at Force In­dia and it’s im­me­di­ately clear why. He’s cheery, good-man­nered and en­ter­tain­ing com­pany – not to men­tion su­per-quick. And he’s not at all per­turbed by do­ing this in­ter­view in the cold, while a blan­ket of fog hangs over the cir­cuit. Rest as­sured, some of your ques­tions could eas­ily have sent him scur­ry­ing back into the warm em­brace of the team’s hut…

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.