Former Force India driver Esteban Ocon believes that the team could challenge for a spot in F1's elite in 2019. The Frenchman said he was sure the team had the tools and determination to make the jump to the top level of Formula One.
Ocon found himself out of the Force India team after a consortium headed up by Lawrence Stroll took over the team and saved them from administration. Although he got to finish the season with the outfit, their transformation into Racing Point was inevitable as was Lance Stroll's move to the team to replace him.
Although he won't race for them next season after the change in ownership, the 22-year-old explained that the team's work ethic and ability to punch above their weight could take them a step forward.
"It is a massive gap to fill but they will make a step forward, that’s for sure," he told Autosport.
"Resources have always been the issue, and there will be less of this issue next year. I believe they will be strong contenders."
Ocon added that the team's desire to improve and succeed was a motivating factor throughout his time with the Force India team.
"I was very impressed, as I was last year, just (by) the professionalism of this team and the motivation they have for results.
"That’s probably the biggest thing. They are hungry. That makes the difference. They don’t count the hours.
"One example, they flew back from Mexico and arrived at like 2am in the UK and the following morning I was there, at 8am, plus the jet lag, and we were working on the sim.
"Everyone was destroyed, I was as well, but we were already working. That’s why we’re so competitive on-track, even when we don’t have the resources. Probably with the resources it’s going to be a lot easier for them."