Renault has announced the signing of Esteban Ocon for the 2020 Formula 1 season, replacing Nico Hulkenberg.

Ocon, 22, will return to the F1 grid next year after one season out of racing, having spent 2019 working as Mercedes' reserve driver.

The Frenchman was in contention for a seat with Mercedes for next season as the most senior member of its junior programme, but after the team opted to retain Valtteri Bottas as Lewis Hamilton's teammate, the way was paved for him to seal a move to Renault.

Ocon will become teammates with Daniel Ricciardo in 2020, leaving Nico Hulkenberg on the sidelines after three seasons with Renault.

The move also sees Ocon link up with Renault some 12 months after coming close to joining the team on loan from Mercedes, only for Ricciardo's shock signing to scrap the team's plans of partnering him with Hulkenberg and ultimately leave him without a race seat for 2019.

"First and foremost, I am very proud to become a Renault driver. I have grown up at Enstone, starting with Lotus in 2010 and then with Renault," Ocon said. 

"I am very attached to this team and everyone who works there; they are the ones who opened the doors of top level motorsport for me. Secondly, I am pleased that a team with big ambitions has entrusted me with the opportunity to once again demonstrate my skills at the highest level of F1.

"It is a responsibility I take very seriously. The confidence they have in me to help the progression of the team is a very positive pressure and I look forward to giving the best of myself."

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul added: "We are very happy to work with Esteban for the next two seasons. 

"Over his F1 career Esteban has experienced the highs and lows of the sport, and fully understood the need to seize every possible chance. In addition to lending his natural talent, Esteban’s aim will be to focus his natural energy and drive, both of which have been intensified by a year away from racing. It is then up to us to infuse them into the next phase of the team’s progress.

"He has shown his ability to score points, has great professionalism on and off the track, plus his recent experience as reserve driver to the current world champions will be a valuable asset to the development of our entire team."

Abiteboul also praised the impact Hulkenberg had during his three-year tenure with Renault, labelling the German as a "pillar" of the team's progress. 

"I wish to thank Nico for his phenomenal involvement and massive contribution to our progress over the past three seasons. When Nico decided to join us, the team was ninth. He brought us to fourth place last year, and was classified seventh in the drivers’ championship.

"The imminent end of his contract made this decision a difficult one as Nico has been a pillar of this progress. The first part of this season has been more challenging, but I know we can count on him and deliver together throughout the second half of the year."