Mercedes retain Ocon in Junior Driver role for 2016


Esteban Ocon will remain as a junior driver within the Mercedes squad in 2016, with the team announcing the extension on the weekend the Frenchman hopes to secure the GP3 Series title.

Ocon has been the official reserve driver for the Mercedes DTM Series team in 2015 as well as fighting for the GP3 crown for the ART Grand Prix team, but now has been guaranteed to be a part of the Mercedes set-up for another season.

With Pascal Wehrlein also part of the junior line-up, the role for either driver is yet to be confirmed for 2016, but Toto Wolff insists both will have key roles within the Mercedes set-up.

“We have taken up the option on him because he has been with us following the DTM team for a while now,” said Wolff, the Head of Mercedes Benz Motorsport.

“[He is] test driver in DTM and has integrated well, and he’s doing a very good job in GP3. He’s somebody we would very much like to have in the family this is why we exercised the option.

“It doesn’t mean we have found a solution for Pascal, because the current driver market is difficult. Most of the teams have already announced drivers so it needs to be right deal.

“But having taken up Esteban, we are conscious we have to find a suitable programme for both of them – it could be for both of them a testing role, a Formula 1 role or a DTM role.”