Renault F1 team to evaluate Esteban Ocon with Manor race drive

Esteban Ocon's race drive with the Manor Formula 1 team will give Renault an opportunity to evaluate the 19-year-old in a representative environment, according to Cyril Abiteboul

Renault F1 team to evaluate Esteban Ocon with Manor race drive

Ocon replaces Rio Haryanto for the remaining nine races of the season after Manor terminated the Indonesian's contract for failing to secure the funding to meet his contractual obligations.

The reigning GP3 champion has been performing reserve driver duties for Renault this season, taking part in four FP1 sessions, and racing for Mercedes in the DTM.

Ocon, who will race alongside fellow Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein, is highly regarded within Renault and in contention to replace either Jolyon Palmer or Kevin Magnussen next season.

"It is an outstanding opportunity for Esteban to gather mileage and race experience in a young, stable and very professional team," said Renault F1 team managing director Abiteboul.

"Esteban will be up against a highly rated and quick team-mate, which will enable us to evaluate him in a representative environment.

"I hope this experience will be of great benefit for him and for Renault in the near future."

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff added: "Manor is just the right environment for a young driver to get his first experience of F1.

"It is a professional, small team that is on a positive upward trend and where the driver can make a real difference.

"Esteban did an exceptional job in the works Mercedes at the Silverstone test and we are excited to see him take his first steps in an F1 race environment.

"We are very pleased that this opportunity has opened up for Esteban, that Manor has again had the confidence to give a chance to a promising young talent and that the good collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Renault has allowed this to come together."

Ocon has already visited Manor's base to meet the team and to have his seat fitting ahead of his Formula 1 debut in Belgium later this month.

"I'm ready for this exciting step up, thanks to the experience I've gained as a Formula 1 reserve driver this season," he said.

"I'd like to thank Renault and Mercedes-Benz for working together to make this happen and to Manor for the opportunity, which I'm going to grab with both hands.

"I've visited Manor already for my seat fit and to meet with the wider team, so we'll be ready to hit the ground running after the summer break.

"They've done a great job this season and I'm excited that I've been tasked with helping them to build on that progress. I can't wait to get started."

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Manor F1 team replaces Rio Haryanto with Esteban Ocon

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