It was announced this morning that Adderly Fong and Esteban Ocon will take part in the Free Practice One for Sauber and Lotus at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Fong who is a former GP3 driver got his first taste of F1 action in October when he tested a two-year-old Sauber, and he will take his take his development up a notch in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.
In his interview with the media today, Fong is excited about his F1 debut in Abu Dhabi this weekend and wants to gain as much from the experience as possible. Fong stated the following:-
‘I am very excited about my Formula One debut in Abu Dhabi, but also at the same time a little bit nervous,” the 24-year-old said.
‘Last month I drove the Sauber C31 for the first time in Valencia, and it was good to get the mileage to be able to familiarise myself with the speed of a Formula One car.
‘As I will have only 90 minutes in FP1, I will not have a lot of time to get used to the car. However, being able to drive during a Formula One weekend is a great privilege, and I am very happy to have the opportunity.’
Even though Sauber are yet to confirm who will make way for Fong, it is clear that Fong has done enough to secure another run with the Sauber team and once again will have the opportunity to show what he can do in a Formula One and gain more experience and mileage under his belt.
Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon will also be in action on Friday with the European Formula 3 Champion getting his chance at Lotus. The Lotus F1 Team Junior driver, who also tested at the Ricardo Tormo circuit last month will replace Romain Grosjean in FP1.
In his statement to the media today, Ocon understands that there is pressure upon him as he hasn’t drove on the Yas Marina circuit before but wants to show what he can do in the car. Ocon stated the following:-
‘There will be a lot to do. It will be the first time I drive the Yas Marina Circuit, the first time I drive a V6 Turbo current generation Formula 1 car and the first time I drive a Grand Prix session, so there’s a lot to take on board!
‘I want to get up to speed as quickly as possible and assist the team as much as possible for the preparations for the Grand Prix.’
In my opinion, Ocon has the correct approach and attitude to the FP1 run tomorrow. He understands that it’s his first run in a Formula One with a V6 engine and also his first time driving at the Yas Marina circuit and will have to learn a lot during the session.
But it is clear that Ocon is happy to receive this chance from Lotus to show what he can do and also help the Lotus team get a headstart on their programme for the Grand Prix as best as he can while gaining experience and mileage in a Formula One car.
But overall, both Fong and Ocon have impressed Sauber and Lotus enough to gain experience, mileage and knowledge in a Formula One car this weekend in Abu Dhabi. Both drivers are undeniably happy to receive the opportunity in the first place and will be doing everything they can to show what they can do on the track in FP1 tomorrow.
Both drivers by their respective teams clearly feel that they have the potential and talent to shine in the session. But the most important thing for me is that both drivers have been given the opportunity and they have to grab the chance with both hands and deliver as best as they possibly can. So let’s see what Fong and Ocon can do in FP1 tomorrow when the spotlight will be upon them.