Top 10 F1 driv­ers of 2017

Autosport (UK) - - CONTENTS -

OCON WAS NOT DEFINITIVELY bet­ter than Perez, but gets the nod in this rank­ing be­cause of just how close he came. To be within 0.075% of Perez’s qual­i­fy­ing pace through­out the year, and to fall just 13 points shy of Perez’s points to­tal, was a truly out­stand­ing ef­fort for a driver of Ocon’s in­ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ocon slot­ted in at Force In­dia so seam­lessly, and was so ac­com­plished, that it was easy to for­get he’d started only nine grands prix be­fore this sea­son got un­der way. Re­mem­ber, this was Perez’s sev­enth year in F1, his fourth with Force In­dia, and he’s con­tested well over 100 races in that time.

The early part of the year was tough, as Ocon found his feet, but his progress mas­sively im­pressed the team. And once back on cir­cuits at which he drove his part-sea­son with Manor in 2016, Ocon evened out the qual­i­fy­ing bat­tle, pretty much matched Perez point for point, and was nar­rowly the faster Force In­dia driver after the Au­gust break.

If Ocon con­tin­ues this rate of de­vel­op­ment, he will surely be­come a se­ri­ous con­tender for a works Mercedes drive in 2019.

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