Four days ago, Esteban Ocon was taking victory in race one of the new GP3 Series season, but quickly made the switch to F1 power after accepting a call-up to run with Force India in the Barcelona group test.

The French youngster was equally quickly snapped up by Mercedes after Lotus allowed him to slip from its ranks of development drivers, and the Three Pointed Star wasted little time in helping secure an F1 outing with one of its customer teams. Some 94 laps later, Ocon had followed GP2's Nick Yelloly in having played a part in Force India's development programme, working to generate an enormous amount of aero data using special instrumentation all over the VJM08.

"It has been a pretty busy week, but I am happy with how everything went," Ocon reflected, "I am very happy about the opportunity today - it is good to get even more experience in an F1 car and I am happy about this week."

The reigning European F3 champion was not making his first appearance in F1 machinery, having been offered the chance to run with Lotus in Abu Dhabi last season, but still had to adapt from his more regular mount after a weekend spent plotting a route to back-to-back titles.

"It is the job of a racing driver to adapt to all circumstances," he pointed out, "I have been running an F1 car before so I knew more or less what to expect. However, I did improve a lot today, getting step-by-step to the pace. At the end, I was happy about my driving and the team was also happy about me."

Like the other young hopefuls with whom he shared the track on Wednesday, however, Ocon knows that he needed to make the most of the opportunity before turning his attention back to GP3.

"I need to focus on GP3, that is my main target - to win this championship," he confirmed, "You can always improve yourself as a driver, but I have to keep working as I always do. I am still young and I have a lot to learn still. Thanks to Force India for the test - they are part of the Mercedes family and so am I. I am really happy to be a part of this family and, hopefully, we will go far together."



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