Last year's European Formula 3 champion Felix Rosenqvist has been named Mercedes-AMG test and reserve driver for the 2016 DTM season, as Esteban Ocon steps into a rookie campaign in the German championship.
In what completes an impressive production line, Swedish driver Rosenqvist takes Ocon's 2015 role as the 2014 Euro F3 champion moves into a full-time driving role with Team ART Mercedes, picking up the driver spot vacated by reigning DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein who is set for his F1 debut with Manor Racing.
The current Euro F3 champion and two-time Macau Grand Prix winner has already tested an Mercedes-AMG DTM machine in December 2014 at Jerez as part of his reward for winning in Macau that year.
The 24-year-old says he is already comfortable as part of the Mercedes set-up and is keen to prove his worth for a potential DTM drive in the future to emulate Ocon, who is pairing is maiden season in DTM as Renault Sport F1's third and reserve driver in 2016.
"I've had an excellent relationship with Mercedes for quite a long time and really feel at home in the team,” Rosenqvist said. “Of course, it will be a new experience for me to act as test and reserve driver for the DTM squad. Esteban undertook this role last year. He assisted drivers and readied himself for his future in the DTM.
“If you get the chance to drive in the DTM, you want to be as well prepared as possible, so from that perspective, this is a great opportunity for me to learn as much as possible about the DTM."
Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM Ulrich Fritz is confident Rosenqvist will be ready to take on the challenge if he is required to fill in on a race weekend, like Ocon was needed on Friday practice at the Hockenheim season finale when Daniel Juncadella fell ill.
“Felix has clearly shown his huge potential by taking two wins on the tricky street circuit in Macau and also by comfortably winning the FIA Formula 3 European Championship recently,” Fritz said. “He now has the chance this season to gain valuable experience in our DTM team."