“Manor will let us evaluate Ocon”
French firm will use Manor seat to evaluate young driver this term
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.”