2014 FIA European Formula 3 Champion Esteban Ocon’s maiden test for the Lotus F1 Team has been described as ‘exceptional’ after completing two days of the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.
Ocon ran well over 650 kilometres in a two-year old Lotus E20 partly as reward for winning the Formula 3 title but also as Lotus decide what role the young Frenchman will play within the team in 2015.
The Trackside Operations Director of the Lotus F1 Team Alan Permane was impressed by Ocon’s test, and believes it will not be too long until the Frenchman is back in an F1 car.
“Esteban drove exceptionally well over the course of the last two days, completing every task we asked of him,” said Permane. “It’s clear he has a lot of talent as he was quickly up to speed and looked comfortable in the car. His feedback and aptitude were very promising. I’m sure we will see him in an F1 car again before too long.”
Ocon himself admitted he felt comfortable behind the wheel of the E20 almost immediately, and hopes the test in Valencia leads to more time behind the wheel of an F1 car in the not too distant future.
“The test driving the Lotus F1 Team E20 went really well,” insisted Ocon. “I had to adapt to the car quite rapidly which I did very well. I felt comfortable with the team straight away and the same with the E20.
“The word I’d use to describe the feeling of driving an F1 car is that it is just quicker. The car was easy to drive, stable and very enjoyable; it is a great car. I’m really happy with this two-day test and I hope to the get the opportunity to jump into the F1 car again soon.”
Ocon is likely to find himself racing in either the GP2 Series or Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2014, with Lotus possible looking to promote him into the third driver role that his fellow Frenchman Charles Pic currently holds.
With Romain Grosjean still unsure of where he will be racing, there is an outside chance that Ocon will join fellow European Formula 3 graduate Max Verstappen in a race seat in 2015, but what can be sure is, he is destined for the top level of motorsport.