Ocon wants to restart Verstappen rivalry in Formula 1

Esteban Ocon wants to battle Max Verstappen for the Drivers' Championship - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Esteban Ocon admits that his former FIA European Formula 3 Championship rival Max Verstappen will be his target as he looks to make his mark in Formula 1 in 2017 with the Sahara Force India F1 Team.

Ocon was European Formula 3 Champion with Prema Powerteam in the year Verstappen made his single seater debut in the same championship with Van Amersfoort Racing, but then saw the Dutchman make the jump into Formula 1 with Red Bull-backing with Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2015.

The Frenchman was forced to wait until mid-2016 before making his own debut with the Manor Racing MRT outfit, but Ocon is hopeful that his rivalry that started in Formula 3 machinery continues into Formula 1, and ultimately in a battle for the championship with the Dutchman.

“I want to be world champion,” said Ocon to Racer. “I don’t know where I will be in the future so I can only say that at the moment. That’s what I want to be. And I want to have the same car as Max and fight him again! That would be nice.

“For sure I knew he was going to do a good job. Nobody knew he was going to do that good, but I would like to have a title fight with him one day.”

“With Toro Rosso I knew he was going to do good, and now for sure he has the car to do great and he’s doing the job.”