Renault: Very happy to work with Esteban for next two seasons

Renault F1 Team is pleased to confirm Esteban Ocon will join forces with Daniel Ricciardo from 2020. The French-Australian duo will be tasked with continuing the team’s progress during its fifth season in F1.

Twenty-two-year-old Esteban, from Normandy, France, will join Renault F1 Team on a multiple year contract. The Frenchman is well known to Renault and Enstone, having been Renault reserve driver in 2016 and also a Lotus junior programme member.

Esteban made his F1 race debut mid-2016 with Manor Racing, before moving to Sahara Force India F1 Team in 2017. In his first full season in the sport, he notched up 87 points and a very commendable eighth in the drivers’ championship. In 2018, Esteban added a further 49 points to his F1 tally before joining Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team as reserve driver for the 2019 season.

Esteban’s CV in the junior formula is just as notable, with the 2015 GP3 series title and 2014 FIA European Formula 3 title to his name, plus numerous victories in Formula Renault.

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal Renault F1 Team: “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.

“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.”

Esteban Ocon: “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. 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.”

Big Question: Is Esteban a better option for Renault than Nico?

Wolff: Ocon is going to be in good car in 2020