Esteban Ocon, ART, GP3, 2015

F3 and GP3 champion Ocon becomes Renault reserve

2016 F1 season

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Renault has named Esteban Ocon as its reserve driver for the upcoming F1 season.

Ocon, the reigning GP3 champion and 2014 European Formula Three champion, had previously been signed by Mercedes to its young driver roster.

Ocon beat Luca Ghiotto to the GP3 championship last year and took nine F3 wins in 2014 to claim the championship ahead of Tom Blomqvist and Max Verstappen. He has 75 F1 superlicence points.

Renault racing director Frederic Vasseur, whose ART team Ocon drove for last year, described him as “probably one of the most successful young drivers over the last few years”.

“He will have a fantastic year ahead of him with his role as third and reserve driver for us, as well as further programmes with Mercedes. It’s a great opportunity for him and we thank Mercedes-Benz for their support here.”

Renault also announced the creation of a new Academy to find “future Renault Sport champions”.

Reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion Oliver Rowland, Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS and Eurocup champion Jack Aitken, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC champion Louis Deletraz and race-winning 2.0-litre driver Kevin Joerg have been named as the initial members. Rowland will race in GP2 this season with Aitken and Joerg move into GP3.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 10 comments on “F3 and GP3 champion Ocon becomes Renault reserve”

    1. It appears you were right @fastiesty

    2. Aside from the news about Ocon, which is obviously good, their junior programme starts with an impressive lineup: Rowland, Aitken, Deletraz and Jörg.

      Moreover it means Rowland is now sure to race in GP2 – something unconfirmed up until now.

    3. I heard once that the Ocon/Verstappen rivalry in F3 was like Prost/Senna because of both drivers’ approaches and styles and successes. I believe it. And I believe Ocon could become the successor to Alain Prost, and become France’s next WDC.

      1. maarten.f1 (@)
        3rd February 2016, 17:33

        @rjoconnell Well, first he’ll need to get a (competitive) seat before we get to that…

    4. I’m still not really clear on this. Am I right in thinking Ocon hasn’t been released by Mercedes? Or has he?!

      1. Apparently he is managed by Mercedes, but employed by Renault. Weird, maybe he was a late deadline day loan.

    5. there something that been bugging me since the test dates were said about and that the 1st 2016 race for GP2 & GP3 has not be said about so F1 Fanatic can you try to get an update on the race dates as i tried and got nothing on this matter

    6. Now this is worth talking about. This guy actually has some superlicence points to his name, and could even race in Australia if needbe. Second only to Vandorne in my eyes of drivers to deserve F1 drive.

      Palmer and Magnusen should work hard to race in 2017.

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