Mercedes confirms Ocon's DTM move

GP3 champion Esteban Ocon will move to the DTM with Mercedes this year, the German car manufacturer confirmed on Thursday.

The Frenchman, who is on loan to the Renault F1 team in the role of reserve driver, had a DTM practice outing last year, when he stood in for the unwell Daniel Juncadella for the finale at Hockenheim.

Ocon fills the void left by reigning DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein, who has joined Manor for his maiden season in Formula 1.

"It's an incredible feeling to be part of such a professional and strong racing series," said 19-year-old Ocon. "I'm very pleased to be driving for Mercedes-Benz. It's the best team in the DTM and I'm very grateful for this fantastic opportunity.

"Mercedes is the most successful manufacturer in DTM history. You can only achieve that with real passion and hard work, and those are characteristics that we share.

"After driving in free practice during the final race weekend of the 2015 season at Hockenheim, I can't wait to start a DTM race.

"I obviously have a lot to learn, but my goal - and that of everyone in the team - is to fight for wins as soon as possible."

Mercedes announced that the rest of its driver line-up with remain unchanged, retaining Gary Paffett, Paul di Resta, Robert Wickens, Maximilian Gotz, Lucas Auer and Juncadella.

"We're aiming for stability in the team after a successful 2015. Esteban Ocon has learned a lot as our test and reserve driver and is ready for his rookie season in the DTM," said Mercedes DTM boss Ulrich Fritz.

"Esteban proved his talent last year by winning the GP3 Series title. Of course, he still has much to learn, but with his seven team-mates, he can draw on the combined experience of 31 DTM seasons.

"When you start the season as defending champions, it's hard to have any other goal than winning the championship. But everyone knows just how competitive the DTM is and it won't be an easy task.

"I would like to especially thank our reigning DTM champion, Pascal Wehrlein, who has taken the next step in his career for 2016, as he will be tackling a fresh challenge in Formula 1.

"Pascal remains part of the Mercedes-Benz family, and we wish him all the best in what we hope will be a successful F1 career."

 

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Esteban Ocon
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news