F1 »

F1 Belgian GP: Ocon looks to Verstappen ahead of F1 debut

Esteban Ocon will reconvene his battle with former European F3 rival Max Verstappen when he makes his F1 debut at Manor this weekend.
Esteban Ocon admits he will be using Max Verstappen as a reference point ahead of his much anticipated Formula 1 debut at the Belgian Grand Prix for Manor Racing.

The Mercedes junior development driver and Renault reserve driver will step into a full-time race seat for the remainder of the 2016 season after being called up to replace Rio Haryanto at Manor Racing.

EXCLUSIVE: Jenson Button - Why my F1 future is in my hands…

Considered one of F1's brightest prospects, Ocon's promotion is seen as a trial for both Mercedes and Renault ahead of a potential race deal in 2017, with many drawing comparisons with Max Verstappen, whom he beat to the European F3 title in 2014.

With this in mind, Ocon says Verstappen is inevitably a marker for him and is excited by the prospect of going wheel-to-wheel with the Dutchman again.

“I hope to have some more fights with him in the future and yeah, that's what I am working for. He is the reference because I was racing with him and at the end I won the title but he was a tough guy to beat, we had some great fights and he went through and he did really good in F1 so for sure he's a reference and I hope to do even better than him.”

REMEMBER: When F1 fell out of love with the Belgian Grand Prix...

With Ocon arriving in F1 amidst a significant amount of hype, Verstappen says the 19 year-old needn't worry about what factor age may play.

“I think in the end it doesn't really matter where you come from as long as you do a good job,” the Red Bull driver said. “Once you're in Formula One it's up to yourself to show that you're ready. I don't think it has to be in F3 or GP3. Once you go to Formula One you have to show it.

“Just jump in the car and go out and drive as fast as you can.”

BELGIAN GP: 6 Things to WATCH out for at the Belgian Grand Prix

Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst

by Ollie Barstow

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
25.08.2016 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing
Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Motorsport in 30 Seconds, 11th January 2017
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
Force India reveals the launch date for its 2017 F1 challenge
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
M-Sport reveals its Ford Fiesta RS WRC challenger
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]

Start 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.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

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