Manor Racing signs Esteban Ocon

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Ed
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Manor Racing signs Esteban Ocon

Post by Ed » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:30 pm

Manor racing confirmed that Esteban Ocon will race alongside Pascal Wehrlein for the rest of the 2016 season replacing Rio Haryanto

Manor Racing team statement:

Banbury, UK

Manor Racing has signed Esteban Ocon to race alongside Pascal Wehrlein for the remaining nine rounds of the 2016 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. He will make his Formula 1 racing debut in the Belgian Grand Prix on 28 August.

Mercedes junior, Esteban, has been Reserve Driver for the Renault Sport F1 Team alongside his 2016 DTM championship drive with Mercedes-AMG. Prior to that, he won championships in FIA F3, in 2014, and in GP3 Series, in 2015.

Dave Ryan, Racing Director, Manor Racing

“We are very pleased to welcome Esteban to Manor Racing for the remainder of the season. He is clearly one of the rising stars of F1, shining in his Reserve Driver role with Renault, while also competing in the DTM with Mercedes-AMG this year.

“Our team has made significant strides in 2016, including finishing in the points for the first time in Austria last month. We need to maintain our pace of development in order to achieve our ambitions, not only for this season but also for the longer-term, so the calibre of a replacement is key. We’re confident that when Esteban makes his Grand Prix debut in Spa, we will have a very potent line-up with which to take the fight to our immediate competitors for the rest of the season.”

Esteban Ocon

“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. 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. I’ve visited the Manor Technical Centre already, for my seat fit and to meet with the wider team, so we’ll be ready to hit the ground running after the summer break. They’ve done a great job this season and I’m excited that I’ve been tasked with helping them to build on that progress. I can’t wait to get started!”

Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport F1 Team

“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. 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.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“We are very pleased that this opportunity has opened up for Esteban, that Manor has again had the confidence to give a chance to a promising young talent and that the good collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Renault has allowed this to come together. We have seen this year that, in the right circumstances, the Manor Racing car is capable of points. Manor is just the right environment for a young driver to get his first experience of F1: a professional, small team that is on a positive upward trend and where the driver can make a real difference. Esteban did an exceptional job in the works Mercedes at the Silverstone test and we are excited to see him take his first steps in an F1 race environment."

Ed
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Re: Manor Racing signs Esteban Ocon

Post by Ed » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:39 pm

The team offered Rio Haryanto the reserve driver role for the rest of the season

Team statement:

Banbury, UK

Manor Racing today announced that it has taken the decision to terminate Rio Haryanto’s Race Driver contract, after he was unable to meet his contractual obligations.

In a bid to keep his Formula 1 dream alive, the team has offered Rio a Reserve Driver role for the remaining nine rounds of the 2016 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Dave Ryan, Racing Director

“Rio has been a much-valued member of our team since January, when we signed a contract with him for this season. Some time ago, his management indicated that they were experiencing difficulties honouring the obligations of that contract beyond the Hungarian Grand Prix. Rio’s team have worked tirelessly to try to resolve that situation with his Indonesian backers and we have supported those efforts as much as possible, including allowing Rio to race in Germany. Unfortunately we reached a point where, in the best interests of the team, we were forced to explore other options for the remainder of the season.

“We are very pleased to continue our support for Rio’s Formula 1 ambitions, by offering him a Reserve Driver role for the rest of the current season. We very much hope that he will accept that offer.”

cmlean
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Re: Manor Racing signs Esteban Ocon

Post by cmlean » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:23 pm

This has been in the pipeline for a while. Just when the axe would fall and who in particular would replace Rio was all that was missing.

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Re: Manor Racing signs Esteban Ocon

Post by Tim » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:53 am

Yes as soon as the Indonesian money dried up, it was a foregone conclusion. That's the harsh reality of the teams at the back.

What is interesting is that Ocon and Wehrlein are both part of the Mercedes youth program and it will be a race between those two for a better seat next year. Ocon is highly rated and it will be interesting how he goes against Wehrlein who is also rated high!

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Re: Manor Racing signs Esteban Ocon

Post by Thaddeus » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:11 pm

I agree with what's been said so far, but would add that Haryanto was better than I thought he might be. He kept Wehrlein, much-hyped, pretty honest.

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