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Ocon: No rivalry with Wehrlein

Esteban Ocon has played down the inter-team competition between himself and Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein and prefers to learn from the German.
Esteban Ocon has played down the inter-team competition between himself and Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein and prefers to learn from the German with just three F1 races under his belt.

The French driver replaced Rio Haryanto in the Manor line-up during the summer break after the Indonesian failed to stack up sufficient sponsorship backing.

To date, Ocon has finished all three of his F1 races but with a best result of 16th place at Spa he says he is still adapting to the F1 set-up.

As a consequence, Ocon says he wants to learn from team-mate Wehrlein rather than compete against him for the remainder of the 2016 season despite both targeting similar futures.

Both Ocon and Wehrlein are Mercedes junior drivers and have already enjoyed test sessions with the German manufacturer.

“I'm here to learn, first of all. He's [Wehrlein] a great driver, he has been really quick all season. I got a lot to learn from him,” Ocon said. “First I needed to get used to the car and see how F1 works. And then for sure build up my speed. Now is more the time for me to build up my speed.

“I start to feel more and more comfortable with the team and how F1 works. I don't see rivalry between us. It's fine.”

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Ocon has confirmed Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is pleased with his early progress and is keen to keep pushing forward until the end of 2016.

“From what he [Wolff] has said, he's quite happy at the moment,” he said. “He said just keep learning and do your job and do your best. So if he is happy, I'm happy.”

Upon reflection, Ocon says he is still in the early stages of adapting to life in F1 and it does feel 'normal' to the 20-year-old.

“An F1 weekend is much different to any other series apart from DTM. DTM is quite close on that. Still there is some difference,” he said. “The more you get used to it and the more you can prepare yourself with something simple like getting ready your clothes and putting them where you want, it's simple things like that, but you get ready and you are prepared. The more you get experience, the more normal you feel.”

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