Ocon to race for Manor for remainder of season

2016 F1 season

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Manor have announced that Esteban Ocon will replace Rio Haryanto as race driver alongside Pascal Wehrlein for the rest of the season.

The team confirmed earlier today that Haryanto would be made reserve driver after explaining that Haryanto had been ‘unable to meet contractual obligations’.

“I’m thrilled that I’ll be making my Grand Prix debut with Manor Racing later this month, and at Spa, of all circuits, which is the next best thing to my home race,” says Ocon.

“I’m ready for this exciting step up, thanks to the experience I’ve gained as a Formula One Reserve Driver this season. I’d like to thank Renault Sport F1 Team and Mercedes-Benz for working together to make this happen, and to Manor Racing for the opportunity, which I’m going to grab with both hands.”

Ocon has made four appearances in free practice sessions this season for Renault. The 19-year-old Frenchman is also part of Mercedes’s driver development programme.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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35 comments on “Ocon to race for Manor for remainder of season”

  1. Great news. I wish him all the best.

  2. Fantastic to hear, should be good to see him against Wehrlein

  3. Max’s rival…

  4. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    10th August 2016, 12:57

    “Who is this Ocon chap?” I hear you say…

    Allow me to show you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdmEdJCSJj4

    1. Good news for F1 I would say! Welcome Ocon.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        10th August 2016, 14:38

        @bascb That’s not even the best move he pulled that race – his move on Mardenborough through the off-camber flip-flop (it doesn’t even deserve to be called a chicane) was opportune brilliance.

    2. I know he came out of this battle behind, but it was great to see him here up against Max, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AviBQPW9RE
      (so weird that they didn’t get a penalty for forcing a driver off the track at Hockenheim… :) )

      Fantastic news that he joins the F1 grid this year, very well deserved after the last two years.

      1. Wew, that was close :D

    3. Replay of Schu V Massa at Hungary

  5. Evil Homer (@)
    10th August 2016, 13:19

    Best of luck mate!
    Did he earn a Super Licence under the older rules or under the new ones to rule out kids like Max?? (that made them all look a bit silly didn’t it!) That said, not all of the young kids will be like Max!

    1. Evil Homer (@)
      10th August 2016, 13:24

      That wasn’t actually meant to sound bad to Ocon or compare him to Max, more so Max is a one in a million.

      1. hes also in the best car, bar the power unit, on the grid. And team orders being what they are…

  6. And Vandoorne again misses out. Really hope he will be in F1 next year at McLaren with JB at Williams.

    1. Evil Homer (@)
      10th August 2016, 13:49

      I think we will all be surprised if Vandoorne doesn’t get the McLaren drive next year and also another year for JB would be good. If Williams do take him its a short term deal so who are they looking for in a year or 2?

      1. @evilhomer Williams have Alex Lynn on their books. He has enough points to move up now, but another year in GP2 (hopefully taking the championship) should set him up for the step up.

        1. Evil Homer (@)
          11th August 2016, 12:44

          Haha of course they do, stupid comment from me I withdraw it :)
          They must think he needs another year as his name doesn’t seem to be mentioned for 2017 so far, but who knows, its F1.

  7. Nearly 25 years after a Mercedes tin-top driver made his F1 debut at Spa…

    1. Yeah and look how that turned out…

  8. So….that means that both Manor drivers are part of Mercedes’ young driver programme – interesting to see how (now they both have race experience) they fit into 2017’s driver shake up

  9. I was really, really hoping Vandoorne might get it, but still very happy that Ocon will get a shot. Been impressed with what I’ve seen so far, and I expect he’ll be up to speed pretty quickly.

    1. Vandoorne McLaren association seems to be hurting him more than helping…

      McHonda should really get a look at procuring Sauber or someone, so they get more drivers under their wing…

  10. And his number is?

    1. He chose 34 in DTM and I believe that isn’t used in F1 at the Moment.

      1. It’s not taken by any driver at the moment, but Alfonso Celis Jr. used it with Force India earlier this year. I believe it is one of their test numbers

      2. Would be fun given Verstappen is 33

    2. He used 24 on the Mercedes for one of the F1 tests earlier this year.

      1. @ijw1 (he also used 45 when he tested/practiced with Renault) The numbers that test drivers use are given to the teams by the FIA, and they are allocated from the numbers not selected by the racing drivers, and as Merc is the champion team, that was the lowest one available for them (23-24 actually, because two consecutive free numbers are allocated to each team). And from last year on, replacement drivers can select their own numbers as Rossi did at Manor, so Ocon can still choose himself.

        1. @hunocsi. Actually. I think the FIA handed out the test numbers based off the 2013 Constructor standings and only change them once a driver takes one. The lowest open consecutive numbers are 15-16 taken by Red Bull. I think it goes like this.
          15, 16 Red Bull
          23, 24 Mercedes
          31, 32 Ferrari
          34, 35 Force India
          36, 37 Sauber
          38, 39 Toro Rosso
          40, 41 Wiliams
          42, 43 Manor
          45, 46 Renault Sport
          47, 48 McLaren
          49, 50 HAAS

          Of course, I could be wrong.

          1. I haven’t checked these numbers since 2014 so you are probably right :D In that case they started as I wrote, and it looks like they evolved when there was a need for it.

  11. Duncan Snowden
    10th August 2016, 16:41

    Cue groans from Hinwil…

  12. Best line-up Manor has had in years!

    With Ocon’s ties with both Renault and Mercedes, you’ve gotta wonder what that means for Wehrlein’s career, especially with the Mercedes team being locked out until the end of 2018.

    Now I just need an announcement confirming Vandoorne at McLaren next year and I’ll be happy.

  13. Takes some pressure off of Palmer, doesn’t it?

  14. Manor are increasingly becoming a test team for Mercedes. Their last driver who actually was not from a huge team and drove a full year was The Lad Stevens. I thought Haryanto was gonna do it. Get his career moving. He is now a reserve man but so was Rossi. He is going to have to go to another team now. Now it looks like Sauber need money the most. It would be fun if Haryanto was dueling it out with a half-decent driver Ericcson or Nasr. Ocon and Wehrlein are both top class.
    On another note, since Ocon is now looking at a Merc future, does that mean that Palmer can breathe easy or if Ocon moves to Renault next year would that mean Rio can get his seat back?

    1. @godoff1
      I just don’t see Weh being top class. I also doubt he will be a racing driver for the, in optima forma, works team.

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