ESTEBAN Ocon ensured the Enstone factory could celebrate some points in the long-awaited opening round of the Formula 1 season.

The Frenchman came home eighth at the Austrian Grand Prix in his debut for Renault.

It was the only points scored by the three teams with bases in Oxfordshire after a chaotic race at the Red Bull Ring.

Neither of the Haas cars from Banbury made it to the finish, while Ocon’s teammate Daniel Ricciardo was the second retirement of the day.

George Russell featured among a group of seven cars which did not see the chequered flag, but his fellow Williams driver offered some encouragement.

After scoring just one point in the whole of 2019, the Grove-based team narrowly missed out on matching that with Nicholas Latifi coming in 11th.

Ocon was able to avoid all the drama, climbing from 14th in qualifying to get four points in the board straight away in what was his first race since 2018.

Speaking to his team over the radio, he said: “The pace is there guys, we’ll qualify higher up next time. Great race guys, great race.”

Haas had a brake issue with both drivers. Kevin Magnussen only made it to lap 24, while Romain Grosjean did just over double the distance before being forced to stop.

The latter said: “The brakes went – we had been nursing them since lap one, looking after them.

“Obviously, something is not quite on the right level on the cooling, so we have to work and sort that out for next week.

“I think one of the main concerns is the pace, it was a very tricky car to drive today, especially in traffic.”

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas converted his pole position into the race victory, as Lewis Hamilton was demoted to fourth following a five-second time penalty.

Bottas, who led every lap, crossed the line just 0.6 seconds clear of his Mercedes team-mate, but Hamilton was penalised after a crash with Red Bull driver Alex Albon in the closing stages.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc moved up to second, with British driver Lando Norris taking the first podium of his career to finish third.

The circuit at Spielberg also hosts the second round of the championship, next Sunday.