Renault to evaluate Ocon in Manor F1 race seat

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Renault Formula 1 chief Cyril Abiteboul says Esteban Ocon’s promotion into a race seat with Manor for the remainder of the season gives the French marque the perfect opportunity to evaluate him in a representative environment.

Ocon, 19, will make his F1 debut in Belgium at the end of the month after Rio Haryanto lost his seat with Manor due to a shortfall in funding.

Ocon is a member of Mercedes’ junior driver program, but has been on loan at Renault as a reserve driver for the 2016 season, taking part in four FP1 sessions so far this season.

Renault is known to be considering Ocon for a race seat in 2017, and Abiteboul is pleased to have secured a means by which to evaluate the Frenchman in race trim.

“Esteban joining Manor Racing for the last nine races of the season demonstrates the excellent relationship the two teams, Renault Sport Formula One Team and Mercedes-Benz, have maintained for several years,” Abiteboul said.

“It is an outstanding opportunity for Esteban to gather mileage and race experience in a young, stable and very professional team.

“Esteban will be up against a highly rated and quick teammate, which will enable us to evaluate him in a representative environment.

“I hope this experience will be of great benefit for him and for Renault in the near future.”