Ocon set for Renault practice outings in 2016

Reigning GP3 Series champion Esteban Ocon looks set to participate in some free practice sessions during the 2016 Formula 1 season with the Renault Sport F1 team.

The eighteen-year-old Frenchman will dovetail his duties with Renault with a full campaign in the DTM Series with the Mercedes-Benz ART Grand Prix squad, but according to Autosport he is set to take part in some FP1’s with Renault.

Ocon will back-up regular drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer in 2016 while on loan from Mercedes, and could replace either during the season in the sessions.

The Frenchman has replaced Palmer in the role of reserve driver, with the Briton having participated in thirteen FP1’s in 2015, all in place of then-driver Romain Grosjean, who has moved to the new-for-2016 Haas F1 Team for the 2016 season.

There could also be opportunities to test for the team during the in-season tests, which take place in Spain and Great Britain this year.

Ocon participated in one free practice session during his previous tenure with the Enstone-based team, having run in FP1 during the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, on the back of winning the 2014 FIA European Formula 3 Championship with Prema Powerteam, where he beat, amongst others, current Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen to the title.