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F1 German Grand Prix: Ocon ‘ready’ for F1 jump amid Manor rumours

He has been tipped for Renault in 2017 and Mercedes are keen to keep him under contract but Esteban Ocon is now being linked with Manor...
Esteban Ocon says he is prepared to make a move into Formula 1 as soon as possible amidst rumours he could be in line to complete the 2016 season at Manor.

The Frenchman has been a regular figure in the F1 paddock this year having undertaken four FP1 sessions with Renault as part of his development driver role, as well as test outings with the Mercedes team that otherwise manages his career.

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Indeed, Ocon – who beat Max Verstappen to the European F3 title in 2014 – has been tipped for a step up into F1 for 2017 with Renault but it is possible his debut could come much earlier after Autosport linked him to a seat at Manor for the final nine rounds in place of Rio Haryanto.

Though he wouldn't be drawn on Manor specifically, Ocon says he feels he has completed enough mileage now to prove himself worthy of a full-time F1 drive.

“If there was an opportunity anywhere I would take it,” he said. “I will be ready to take it that's for sure. I have been around driving quite a lot of cars, F1 cars, so if there is an opportunity I would be really happy to take it

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“For sure, my goal is to be in F1 in the future and I am happy to be in DTM at the moment but I don't want to stay there for too long. I want to be in F1 in the future so if there is an opportunity in F1 I will push them to accept that.”

With fellow Mercedes protégé Pascal Wehrlein already racing at Manor, the offer of Ocon alongside him would likely be sweetened by an even more favourable engine deal and would give potential employers the chance to trial him against another highly-rated youngster.

It is understood Haryanto remains Manor's preferred choice to keep his seat but it is dependent on whether he can source the funds to fulfil his contract over the summer break.

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by Ollie Barstow

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
29.07.2016 - Free Practice 1, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Renault Sport Formula One Team Test Driver
29.07.2016 - Free Practice 1, Rio Haryanto (IDN) Manor Racing MRT05 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Renault Sport Formula One Team Test Driver
28.07.2016 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Renault Sport Formula One Team Test Driver
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