Current FIA European Formula 3 Championship leader Esteban Ocon will make his Formula Renault 3.5 Series debut this weekend at the Hungaroring with the Comtec Racing team.
The Frenchman, part of the Lotus F1 Team’s junior programme, will join Cameron Twynham at Comtec, who will field two cars in the series for the first time in 2014 at both the Hungarian and French rounds of the series.
Ocon has won eight races for Prema Powerteam in the European Formula 3 season so far, and can clinch the championship when the series resumes in the middle of October at Imola. He is 77 points ahead of Max Verstappen, who will be a Scuderia Toro Rosso driver in 2015.
Although Ocon will not be in F1 next year, his management believes his future lies in a series with ‘bigger cars’, and Gwenael Lagrue, the boss of Gravity Sport Management who look after the Frenchman’s career, said Ocon should be in either the Formula Renault 3.5 Series or the GP2 Series in 2015.
“There is no other goal than getting experience of a bigger car to prepare for the future,” said Lagrue. “All I can tell you is that the next step for him will be in a bigger car than an F3 one!”
Gravity are also looking into the possibility of getting Ocon a Formula 1 role in conjunction with his 2015 drive, possibly with Lotus, the colours of whom Ocon races with in European Formula 3.