Feb.15 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Esteban Ocon has moved into pole position for a future in formula one.
As reigning GP3 champion, the highly rated French teenager will be loaned by Mercedes to be third driver at the new Renault works team in 2016.
He will combine the role with DTM, reportedly replacing the German touring car series’ new champion Pascal Wehrlein, who also with strong Mercedes backing is moving into F1 with Manor in 2016.
“It will be a full year and a great challenge with much to learn,” Ocon, 19, is quoted by Speed Week.
“It is not easy to combine DTM with F1 — it’s going to be hard. But I’m here to master it,” he added.
Asked if successfully following the lead of his predecessor Wehrlein is the goal, Ocon answered: “As a young driver it is also the goal to get into F1.
“But at the moment I am very happy to be in DTM. It is a fantastic opportunity for me,” he added.
Wehrlein, who at the age of 21 is now a 2016 rookie with Manor, said winning in DTM was the perfect preparation for making the big step to F1.
“I’m proud of what I have achieved,” said the youngest ever DTM champion. “Last year was very important.
“Who knows if I would have got this chance without winning the title,” he told the German newspaper Bild. “But of course I also had to be good at the (F1) tests.
“I don’t bring any (personal) money. Defending the DTM title would have been nice this year, but the big goal was formula one,” Wehrlein added.