Ocon handed Barcelona F1 test outing by Renault

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Renault Formula 1 chief Frederic Vasseur has confirmed that reserve driver Esteban Ocon will conduct one day of running at the test following the Spanish Grand Prix.

Ocon joined Renault on loan from parent team Mercedes at the start of the season, taking up the reserve and third driver role in support of full-time racers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer.

The Frenchman won the GP3 title in 2015, and is widely tipped to be one of F1’s future stars.

Following the Russian Grand Prix, Renault confirmed that Ocon would be taking part in first practice for the race in Spain, but has now also announced he will share the two-day test with Magnussen.

“Esteban will drive Jolyon’s car for FP1, then Kevin and Esteban will drive in the test,” Vasseur confirmed, before expressing his faith in the somewhat sizeable Renault junior driver academy.

“We saw Sergey Sirotkin do a very good job in FP1 in Russia and we will see Esteban Ocon take to the wheel in Barcelona,” he said.

“Just this week we had Nicholas Latifi complete a vital part of his programme by driving a 2012 Formula 1 car, the E20, at Silverstone. Beyond that, we have the Renault Sport Academy, most of whom will be in action in the support categories in Spain.”

However, Renault has no immediate plans to make any changes to its existing driver line-up as rivals Red Bull and Toro Rosso have ahead of the race in Barcelona.

“We have a strong line-up and one we’re happy with and committed to,” Vasseur said.

“Kevin has performed very well in his return to Formula 1 and Jolyon is approaching his rookie season in a clear and methodical manner.

“It’s true that Jolyon had a couple of races where he didn’t deliver as he wanted, equally this is natural in a driver’s first season; he’s learning and making strong progress.”