Tag Archives: Esteban Ocon

Ocon: Tough Task replacing Hulkenberg


With Esteban Ocon replacing Nico Hulkenberg at Force India, the Frenchman has recently admitted in an interview with the media that he has big shoes to fill going into the 2017 season.

Despite only having half a season in Formula 1 under his belt, the 20-year-old expressed his excitement of working with Sergio Perez at the Silverstone-based outfit.

In his interview with the media earlier this week, Ocon is truly grateful to Force India for having confidence in him despite in his inexperience in the sport. Ocon stated the following:-

‘They [Force India] believe in me, they think we can achieve great things together, and they want a strong driver to replace Nico, which is a tough task, but I will do my best to replace him the best way possible.

‘Coming with not a lot of experience halfway through the season was very hard. Probably my progress was a good point, and I also tested with Force India back in 2015, and the test was great.

‘I remember being P2, just behind the Mercedes, and it was a hard day – raining, drying, so I remember a great test, great memories, and the team welcomed me well back then.’


Ocon signs for Force India for the 2017 season


Yesterday afternoon the Sahara Force India is pleased to confirm Esteban Ocon as a race driver for 2017 and beyond following the signing of a multi-year contract. The 20-year-old Frenchman will race alongside Sergio Perez to form one of the most exciting line-ups on the grid with a blend of youth and experience.

In a statement to the media yesterday, Ocon is delighted to have signed for Force India next season and is ready for the opportunity to enhance his career in the sport. Ocon stated the following:-

‘I’m very excited to join Sahara Force India. I know the team quite well already because I was a test driver last year and I’m really looking forward to working with everybody at Silverstone once again. I’m still relatively new to Formula One, but spending half a season at Manor Racing has given me some valuable experience and I feel ready for this new opportunity with Sahara Force India. The next few months will be very busy as I do all I can to prepare for the challenge ahead of me.

‘It means lots of days at the factory, working on the simulator and building relationships with the engineers and everybody in the team. It’s something I’ve been working towards my whole life and I intend to grab this opportunity with both hands so that I can deliver the results the team expects from me. I want to say ‘thank you’ to everybody at Manor and especially to Mercedes-Benz for their support and belief in me. I can’t wait for 2017 and my first full season racing in Formula One.’

In his own statement to the media yesterday; Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director stated the following about signing Ocon for next season as follows:-

‘It’s a pleasure to welcome Esteban as our new race driver. He’s an exceptional talent, as his status as a Mercedes Junior demonstrates, and I have no doubt he will flourish inside our team. We’ve had our eye on Esteban for a number of years and have followed his progress through the junior categories where he delivered outstanding results. We ran him in the car last year during testing and his performance convinced us that he is more than capable of racing alongside Sergio. Sahara Force India has a tradition of investing in young, talented drivers and the arrival of Esteban will bring some fresh energy and motivation to everyone in the team.’

Manor replaces Haryanto with Esteban Ocon


On Thursday morning, the Manor team announced that Esteban Ocon will race alongside Pascal Wehrlein for the remainder of the 2016 Formula One season.

The British team confirmed it had decided to terminate Rio Haryanto’s contract as a full-time race driver after he was “unable to meet his contractual obligations”. As a result, Mercedes junior Ocon will make his grand prix debut in Belgium at the end of the month.

Haryanto had taken part in the first 12 grands prix of the season alongside Wehrlein, but it was reported the Indonesian would need to find additional funding in order to keep his race seat beyond Hockenheim.

Manor has offered Haryanto a reserve driver role for the remaining nine races of 2016. In an statement to the media yesterday, Racing director Dave Ryan said the following about the situation:-

‘We are very pleased to welcome Esteban to Manor Racing for the remainder of the season. He is clearly one of the rising stars of F1, shining in his reserve driver role with Renault, while also competing in the DTM with Mercedes-AMG this year.

‘We’re confident that when Esteban makes his grand prix debut in Spa, we will have a very potent lineup with which to take the fight to our immediate competitors for the rest of the season.

‘We are very pleased to continue our support for Rio’s F1 ambitions, by offering him a reserve driver role for the rest of the current season. We very much hope that he will accept that offer.’

Ocon to get another FP1 run in Silverstone this weekend


It was announced this morning that Esteban Ocon has been handed his second FP1 appearance of the season by Renault ahead of the British Grand Prix.

Mercedes junior Ocon, who competed in FP1 ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix will take over from Kevin Magnussen this Friday. In Spain he took over for Jolyon Palmer, though his running was cut short due to reliability issues.

Ocon will stay in Silverstone to pilot the Mercedes W07 next week as part of the post-British Grand Prix test days. The Frenchman, the reigning GP3 champion, is driving for Mercedes in DTM but is yet to score a point in the series. Ocon is effectively on loan at Renault from the world champions this year and is officially listed as the French manufacturer’s reserve driver for 2016.

Ocon will not be the only person deputising for a regular driver in FP1 this weekend, with Ferrari youngster Charles Leclerc driving for Haas in the opening practice session in place of Esteban Gutierrez.

Ocon secures DTM drive for the 2016 season


It was announced yesterday that Renault reserve driver Esteban Ocon will race in DTM for Mercedes this year, replacing reigning world champion Pascal Wehrlein who this week signed a deal to race with Manor in F1.

In a statement to the media yesterday, Ocon is happy to have secured a drive in the DTM series and is eager to get learning more about the series and also about the car he will be driving this season. Ocon stated the following:-

‘It’s an incredible feeling to be part of such a professional and strong racing series. After driving in free practice during the final race weekend of the 2015 season at Hockenheim, I can’t wait to start a DTM race.

‘I obviously have a lot to learn, but my goal – and that of everyone in the team – is to fight for wins as soon as possible.’

Ocon, who won the GP3 title last year, is effectively on loan to Renault from Mercedes and he will combine his DTM racing with his F1 duties. He is expected to drive the Renault F1 car at some point this year in either testing or Friday practice, but details have not yet been announced.

Mercedes will be supporting the career of Esteban Ocon


It has been announced today that Mercedes will support the burgeoning career of reigning F3 champion Esteban Ocon as he embarks on his first season in GP3 this year.

Ocon was one of the star performers in the junior categories last year and beat Max Verstappen among others to the F3 European championship. His new deal will see him become an official test and reserve driver for the Mercedes DTM team and includes a contractual option that could see him become a fully-fledged Mercedes-Benz driver in the future.

Ocon tested an F1 car for the first time last year at the post-season Abu Dhabi test with Lotus and in his interview with the media today, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff sees a bright future for 18 year old. Wolff stated the following:-

‘Esteban is a mega-talented young guy and one of the stars of the future. I’m pleased we’ve found a good path to continue his relationship with Mercedes-Benz, because we have a strong tradition of supporting the best young drivers with a view to their long-term potential. We will be watching Esteban’s progress with a lot of interest and I hope this year will be the first of many working together.’

It is clear that Wolff believes that Ocon has the talent and the ability to succeed in the future, believe that he has a lot to offer and is pleased that they will be able to extend their working relationship further and hopefully are able to build upon this as time goes on while also keeping track of his progress in the junior formulae.

In his own interview with the media today, Ocon is clearly delighted with this arrangement with Mercedes and is hoping to develop as a driver as a result of this; while also making sure that he performs as well as possible in the GP3 series this season. Ocon added the following:-

‘I’m really proud to have the support of Mercedes-Benz this season and that the Mercedes AMG DTM team has trusted me with the important role of test and reserve driver. I spent last weekend with the DTM team in Hockenheim and hope that I can play a valuable role this year.

‘But my main focus is on the opening races of the GP3 Series this weekend. I am proud to be racing with support from Mercedes-Benz and in a fantastic team like ART Grand Prix. I hope that I can compete for the title this year, starting with strong results in Barcelona.’

it is clear that Ocon is delighted to have secured the support of Mercedes Benz and feels that his relationship with them is one that can input on while also ensuring that he gains as much experience with them as possible while also developing as a driver too.

But Ocon sums it up for me; this season he has to ensure that he delivers as well as he can in the GP3 series with the ART Grand Prix team and take every chance has it comes. If his performances are anything to go by in the junior formulae; we could be seeing once again just how talented of a driver he is and I am looking forward to tracking his progress this year in GP3.


Fong and Ocon to take part in FP1 in Abu Dhabi


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.