“Manor will let us eval­u­ate Ocon”

French firm will use Manor seat to eval­u­ate young driver this term

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Rob Lad­brook Pho­tos: LAT

Re­nault will use the re­main­der of this sea­son to eval­u­ate the per­for­mance of young driver Este­ban Ocon af­ter sup­port­ing the French­man’s move to a race seat with Manor.

Ocon, 19, has been con­firmed as Manor’s sec­ond race driver for the re­main­der of the year af­ter Rio Haryanto’s con­tract was ter­mi­nated when he failed to se­cure the fund­ing to meet his con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions. Haryanto will con­tinue with the team in a re­serve driver role.

Ocon won the GP3 Se­ries ti­tle last sea­son be­fore join­ing Re­nault F1 as a re­serve driver for this year as well as rac­ing for Mercedes in the DTM. Ocon is on the Mercedes young driver pro­gramme, but has been loaned to Re­nault for this sea­son.

Re­nault F1 team head Cyril Abite­boul said the team would keep a close eye on Ocon as it re­views its own driver op­tions for 2017.

“It is an out­stand­ing op­por­tu­nity for Este­ban to gather mileage and race ex­pe­ri­ence in a young, sta­ble and very pro­fes­sional team,” said Abite­boul. “Este­ban will be up against a highly rated and quick team-mate, which will en­able us to eval­u­ate him in a rep­re­sen­ta­tive en­vi­ron­ment.

“I hope this ex­pe­ri­ence will be of great ben­e­fit for him and for Re­nault in the near fu­ture.”

Ocon added: “I feel ready for this ex­cit­ing step up, thanks to the ex­pe­ri­ence I’ve gained be­ing a re­serve driver. I’d like to thank Re­nault and Mercedes-benz for mak­ing this hap­pen and to Manor for the op­por­tu­nity, which I will grab with both hands.

“I’ve vis­ited Manor al­ready for my seat fit and to meet with the wider team, so we’ll be ready to hit the ground run­ning af­ter the sum­mer break.

“They’ve done a great job this sea­son and I’m ex­cited that I’ve been tasked with help­ing them to build on that progress. I can’t wait to get started.”

Ocon is in at Manor

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