Esteban Ocon will return to Formula 1 next year after signing a deal to drive for Renault.Daniel Ricciardo next year. Ocon has joined the team on a two-year deal.
The news means Nico Hulkenberg is set to leave the French manufacturer team at the end of the season after three years with them.
Ocon said he is “very proud to become a Renault driver” having worked with the team earlier in his career.
“I have grown up at Enstone, starting with Lotus in 2010 and then with Renault. 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.”
Ocon came close to signing for Renault last year before they hired Ricciardo, then found himself without a driver after Lance Stroll took his place at Racing Point.
“Over his F1 career Esteban has experienced the highs and lows of the sport, and fully understood the need to seize every possible chance,” said Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul.
“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.”
View the current list of 2020 F1 drivers and teams
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2020 F1 season
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- F1 revenues fell by $877 million in Covid-struck 2020 season
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- F1 audience figures “strong” in 2020 despite dip in television viewers