F1 »

F1 Belgian GP: Ocon surprised by early arrival of F1 debut

Esteban Ocon says he never expected his F1 race debut to come as early as this year's Belgian Grand Prix but is confident he will be fully prepared.
Esteban Ocon says he never expected his F1 race debut to come as early as this year's Belgian Grand Prix but is confident he will be fully prepared for the challenge having signed for the remainder of the year with Manor.

The Mercedes junior driver and Renault reserve driver is set for his maiden F1 race start at Spa-Francorchamps after replacing Rio Haryanto in Manor's driver line-up alongside Pascal Wehrlein as the Indonesian driver failed to secure sufficient funding for the rest of the year. Ocon will see out the campaign with Manor which has called a premature end to his first campaign in DTM.

“I never thought that I would be offered this opportunity quite so soon,” Ocon said. "Not at all. But thanks to all the tests and my preparation this year, I feel ready for it. It's helped me a lot. I'm very happy about it and I'm looking forward immensely to my first Formula 1 race weekend in Belgium.”

The 2015 GP3 Series champion has accepted he will have unfinished business in DTM, having claimed just a single points finish over the opening five rounds, but says it wouldn't have been possible to combine a second half campaign between F1 and the German touring car championship despite no clashes arising.

“I'm a bit sad that I cannot complete the DTM adventure,” he said. “I've kept raising my level of performance in the course of the season and gained a lot of experience. My pace has been steadily improving. So from that perspective, it's a pity that I'm unable to finish the season with the team. But it's not possible to compete simultaneously in both championships.”

READ: 12 of the biggest moments in F1 2016 so far

As well as being involved in the mid-season F1 tests for Mercedes and Renault, Ocon also received free practice one outings with the French manufacturer in Spain, Great Britain, Hungary and Germany and has been training extensively for the physical demands of the globe-trotting F1 cycle.

“I've also been training hard. The training isn't all that different from in the DTM,” he said. “I'm preparing as thoroughly as possible so that I'll be ready for my first F1 race weekend. Before going to Spa, I will meet up with my new team again and we'll go through all the details together.”
by Haydn Cobb



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
28.07.2016 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Renault Sport Formula One Team Test Driver
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


ProfessorDave

August 18, 2016 7:33 PM

Sophisticated: Ocon comes with a lot of hype but his DTM results have not shown whatsoever why he is considered a "special talent". He better start beating Wehrlein soon in the Manor to warrant the hype. if he can't beat Wehrlein (which I highly doubt he can) I don't see why he would be deserving of a full time F1 seat. Then again he probably brings a lot of cash...
does he bring a lot of cash, and is that what Renault and Mercedes are looking for? I don't think so.

Sophisticated

August 18, 2016 12:10 PM

Ocon comes with a lot of hype but his DTM results have not shown whatsoever why he is considered a "special talent". He better start beating Wehrlein soon in the Manor to warrant the hype. if he can't beat Wehrlein (which I highly doubt he can) I don't see why he would be deserving of a full time F1 seat. Then again he probably brings a lot of cash...



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.