Mercedes reserve driver Esteban Ocon says he is already learning a lot in his new role from observing Lewis Hamilton’s “impressive” post-session debriefs during pre-season testing.  

Ocon lost his Racing Point seat to Lance Stroll following the former Force India’s squad’s takeover by Stroll’s father, Lawrence Stroll, amid financial difficulties last year, and has been left without a drive for the upcoming season. 

He was subsequently handed a reserve and simulator position at Mercedes for 2019, making his first official appearance in the role during the opening pre-season test in Barcelona

Valtteri Bottas F1 Driver Profile - Mercedes

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“I’m learning every day,” Ocon said when asked about his new commitments. 

“I’m working the same as if I was racing, looking at Valtteri’s and Lewis’ data and speaking to different departments to pick up bits. 

“Listening to Lewis in the debrief is something great because of how he works and how intense he is. 

“You pick up things and it’s very impressive to see him work so hard. So I’m learning from him.”

Ocon is scheduled to be on duty with Mercedes at every grand prix this season, while he will spend the Friday of each race weekend in the team’s simulator for the European rounds, sharing running with fellow simulator driver Stoffel Vandoorne.  

“I’ve been settling in well, getting to know everyone and taking my role with pleasure,” Ocon explained. 

“Being part of this fantastic team is such a pleasure and it’s very special, they have been the world champions and very successful.

“I’m doing a lot of simulator work and very in touch with the team. I spend a lot of time in Brackley and in the team. 

“It’s a good new role, it’s very interesting and I’m learning a lot but for sure I look forward to test the car.

“I’m very hungry to wait and get in [the car].”

Valtteri Bottas’ current Mercedes contract only runs until the end of 2019, meaning the German manufacturer could promote Ocon to become Hamilton’s teammate in 2020. 

 

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