Force India Driver Profile: Esteban Ocon
Monday, 19 March 2018 | Ravenol Marketing
Date of birth: 17/09/1996 (21)
Height: 185 cm
Esteban began his Formula Once career in 2015 when he test drove for Force India in the Barcelona in-season test, impressing the team with his professional attitude and natural speed.
Halfway through the following year he got his big break with Manor, replacing Rio Haryanto from the Belgian Grand Prix to complete the remainder of the season. Despite an uncompetitive car, the Frenchman was still able to show his potential to force India, who signed him up for the 2017 season.
The move to Force India allowed Esteban to show his true class, catching the eye of fans and Formula One insiders alike. Consistent and quick, easily keeping pace with experienced team-mate Sergio Perez, Esteban went on to write his name in the history books with an unbroken 27-race finishing streak which only ended in Brazil, when he was the faultless victim of a first-lap collision. A brilliant first full season in the sport, with 87 points to his name, culminating with fifth place in Spain, his best result to date, will have done lots for the confidence of the likeable Frenchman
Esteban has set himself up as one of the growing talents of Formula One and great expectations are placed on him as he starts his second season with Sahara Force India.
“It has been a long winter with a two-month training camp for me in the Pyrenees, but hopefully all the hard work will pay off now the racing is starting,” Esteban told Force India’s Driver’s Eye season preview. “I can honestly say I’m in the best shape of my life. I feel ready to go racing again. Testing is one thing, but now we will get the real answers in terms of our performance.
“Melbourne is a fantastic place. I think everybody in the team enjoys going there. The weather is usually nice and there’s extra excitement because it’s the start of the season. The atmosphere is brilliant all weekend and the fans give you lots of energy. I think it’s a perfect place to start the season.
“The Albert Park track is quite old school. It’s narrow and very technical. The secret to a good lap is being neat and tidy because it’s largely made up of low and medium-speed corners. I would say the most exciting part of the lap is the high-speed chicane through turns 11 and 12 because it’s easy to make a mistake and lose time. “I’d like to think we can fight for points in Melbourne. We had a really solid second week of testing in Barcelona. I feel comfortable in the car and it’s very consistent. We have new parts coming for the race so hopefully that’s another performance step.”