Mercedes DTM driver Esteban Ocon believes this season will better prepare him for a future Formula 1 career rather than GP2 would.
After DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein left Mercedes for a race seat with Manor Racing, Ocon was confirmed as one of their 2016 drivers. Alongside his DTM duties, the GP3 champion will be take on the role of reserve driver for the Renault Sport Formula 1 team in F1.
“My objective is F1, but I’m focused on my DTM campaign,” said Ocon to Motorsport.com. “For me, it’s a category which is still a great gateway to F1; I prefer to be in DTM to GP2.
“The DTM car is nice to drive and it’s not too dissimilar to an F1 car, in terms of driving, with enormous grip and powerful brakes. But equally in terms of professionalism, it’s excellent preparation for the highest level.”
Last year alongside his GP3 commitments Ocon was a DTM reserve driver for Mercedes. He is confident that with everything he learnt last season with Mercedes it will make him a contender for points.
“I have learn a lot this last year with the Mercedes team,” said the Frenchman. “I’ve spent quite a bit of time trackside, and I’ve tried to give my views to the engineers.
“Now I can’t wait to put all this into practice. The first target is to score points, then progress and take pole position and wins for Mercedes. I’m not here to make up the numbers.”