Esteban Ocon will take up Rio Haryanto’s seat at Manor for the second half of the season, it has been announced.
Part of the Mercedes young driver programme and a reserve driver for Renault, Ocon has has an impressive track record in juniour formulae, having won the 2014 European F3 title and the 2015 GP3 championship.
“I’m thrilled that I’ll be making my Grand Prix debut with Manor Racing later this month, and at Spa, of all circuits, which is the next best thing to my home race,’’ Ocon said.
“I’m ready for this exciting step up, thanks to the experience I’ve gained as a Formula 1 Reserve Driver this season. I’d like to thank Renault Sport F1 Team and Mercedes-Benz for working together to make this happen, and to Manor Racing for the opportunity, which I’m going to grab with both hands,’’ he added.
Haryanto’s seat has always been in question, with the Indonesian driver not having the requisite funding to see out out the season.
The 23-year-old joined Manor as a pay driver but was unable to provide the promised sponsorship to the team. As a result, he has been demoted to the reserve driver’s role.
by Rachit Thukral