Renault could give Ocon free practice outings

Renault could give some Friday free practice outings to reserve driver Esteban Ocon in 2016, the French car manufacturer's Formula 1 chief Cyril Abiteboul has said.

GP3 champion Ocon is on loan from Mercedes for the season, and will work closely with the newly relaunched Renault works outfit.

Although the Frenchman's exact 2016 programme has not yet been sorted out, Renault Sport managing director Abiteboul has said that there is a chance Ocon could get time in the F1 car.

When asked by Motorsport.com if he could run on Fridays, Abiteboul said: “We think you will get to see Esteban driving the car, yes... but I don't want to go into the details.”

If Ocon does not get any Friday running, then he could be given an outing at either of the two in-season tests being planned for after the Spanish and British Grands Prix.

The Frenchman has already contested one free practice session with the Enstone outfit in the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when he was part of the Lotus junior scheme.

Mercedes favour

Although some have expressed surprise that Ocon has been loaned from Mercedes, Abiteboul said F1 had to embrace such co-operation between teams in the future.

“This is modern F1,” he said. “Just like there is collaboration between car makers – we collaborate with Nissan, Infiniti and Mercedes.

“We need to start taking away the walls between people and working in synergies. The cost of F1 is too expensive if we don't work in collaboration.”

Interview by Roberto Chinchero

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Esteban Ocon
Teams Renault F1 Team
Article type Breaking news