Ocon ‘on loan’ to Renault from Mercedes for 2016

© GP3 Series

Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul has revealed that reserve driver Esteban Ocon is being loaned to the French manufacturer by Mercedes for the 2016 Formula 1 season.

Ocon previously enjoyed ties with Lotus F1 Team before it was taken over by Renault, taking part in practice for the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Frenchman joined Mercedes’ junior program on a provisional deal for 2015 before being signed up as a full member following his GP3 title success.

However, Ocon has now returned to Enstone, being announced as Renault Sport F1 Team’s new reserve driver for the 2016 season.

Speaking to reporters following the team’s launch in France earlier this week, Abiteboul confirmed that Ocon had been loaned to Renault for the season by Mercedes, but seemed open to making the deal permanent in the future.

“Esteban is great new addition for us for this year, and we are very excited to be taking part in his development,” Abiteboul said.

“For the time being he is on a loan basis, [like] it is happening in football. And then who knows?”

Ocon added: “Even in my new role as third driver for Renault, I remain a long term member of the Mercedes family, and I have to thank Mercedes and Renault for making this possible.

“There are some opportunities out there to race as well this season but nothing has been decided yet. It is an incredible opportunity to be guided and supported by Toto [Wolff] and Mercedes, and to have the honour of representing a brand like Renault in F1.”

Formula E announces Portland, Oregon as US race in 2023

Formula E Portland 2023
Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

The American date for the 2023 Formula E schedule will move from Brooklyn, New York to Portland, Oregon on June 24, 2023, filling the calendar at 16 rounds. This will be the first time in the nine-year history of the series that they have raced on the West Coast in only the third different city in the United States. Miami hosted one Formula E race in 2015. The series has visited the United States every season except 2020 due to the COVID-1+9 pandemic.

The 2023 race will be Round 12.

“We are excited to bring the premier electric motorsport world championship to Portland for the first time in June next year,” said Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Formula E in a press release. “There is a big, passionate fanbase for professional sports in the city, together with strong ecological credentials which makes Portland a perfect host for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“The USA remains an important market for Formula E. We are delighted to maintain that critical presence and engage a new audience in the Pacific Northwest region in all-electric motorsport.”

MORE: McLaren Racing’s Ian James organization’s entry into Formula E

Last year’s American round in Brooklyn was made up of two races with Nick Cassidy from Envision Racing winning Race 1 and António da Costa from DS Techeetah taking the second race.

Portland will host only one Formula E race in 2023.

The 2023 season will be highlighted by the new Gen 3 car, which features a battery capable of generating 350 kilowatts with regeneration capability from both the front and rear axles. This contributes to a top speed of 200 miles per hour (m.p.h.), an increase of about 25 m.p.h. from last year.

The 2023 season also marks the entry of two new iconic teams, Maserati and McLaren, who completed their roster of drivers in late November with the addition of Jake Hughes.

Season 9 Calendar

Round 1:  January 3, Mexico City, Mexico
Rounds 2 & 3: January 27-28, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
Round 4: February 11, Hyderabad, India*
Round 5: February 6, Cape Town, South Africa*
Round 6: March 8, São Paulo, Brazil*
Rounds 7 & 8: April 22-23, Berlin, Germany
Round 9: May 6, Monaco
Rounds 10 & 11: June 3-4, Jakarta, Indonesia
Round 12: June 24, Portland, Oregon*
Rounds 13 & 14: July 15-16, Rome, Italy
Rounds 15 & 16: July 29-30, London

*subject to final FIA Safety and Technical checks,