Formula 1

Ocon feels ready if Manor chance comes up

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Ocon feels ready if Manor chance comes up
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Renault reserve Esteban Ocon has no doubts he would be ready for a step up to Manor later this season, if an opportunity opens up at the team.

Esteban Ocon, Renault Sport F1 Team Test Driver with Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren Test and Reserve Driver
Rio Haryanto, Manor Racing with team mate Pascal Wehrlein, Manor Racing
Rio Haryanto, Manor Racing MRT05
Rio Haryanto, Manor Racing
Esteban Ocon, Renault Sport F1 Team R16 Test Driver
Esteban Ocon, Renault Sport F1 Team R16 Test Driver

Current driver Rio Haryanto needs to raise funding to keep hold of his seat for the remainder of the campaign, and the Banbury-based outfit has begun evaluating potential options if it ends up having to find a replacement.

Ocon is on the shortlist along with Will Stevens, Alex Rossi and Stoffel Vandoorne, although no decision about what happens is expected to be made until later this summer.

But having taken part in several free practice outings for Renault, plus a Silverstone test for Mercedes, Ocon feels fully prepared if there is a chance to step up.

“If there is an opportunity anywhere, I would take it,” he said. “I would be ready, that’s for sure. I’ve been around for a long time now, driving quite a lot of cars, so if there is an opportunity I’d be happy to take it.”

Although the F1 calendar has no clashes with the DTM where he is racing this season, Ocon says any move up would make him reluctant to compete in both.

“For sure my goal is Formula 1,” he said. “I’m happy to be in DTM but I don’t want to stay there for too long. So if there was an opportunity in F1, I would push them [the management] to accept that.”

As well as the Manor link for this season, Ocon remains a firm favourite to secure one of the race seats at Renault next season.

The French car manufacturer is still evaluating its options for next season with both Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer's contracts up for renewal at the end of the year.

Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez have both been linked to the outfit as well, despite Force India's insistence that it has a contract with the latter.

Renault has also shown interest in Vandoorne, but the Belgian's future is entirely in the hands of McLaren, which has an option on his services.

Additional reporting by Jamie Klein

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Rio Haryanto , Esteban Ocon
Teams Manor Racing
Author Jonathan Noble