Force India confirmed Esteban Ocon as a race driver for 2017 and beyond. The Frenchman signed a multi-year contract. The 20-year-old driver will race alongside Sergio Perez.
“I’m very excited to join Sahara Force India. I know the team quite well already because I was a test driver last year. And I’m really looking forward to working with everybody at Silverstone once again. I’m still relatively new to Formula One. But spending half a season at Manor Racing has given me some valuable experience. I feel ready for this new opportunity with Sahara Force India.
The next few months will be very busy as I do all I can to prepare for the challenge ahead of me. It means lots of days at the factory, working on the simulator and building relationships with the engineers and everybody in the team. It’s something I’ve been working towards my whole life and intend to grab this opportunity with both hands so that I can deliver the results expected from me. I want to say ‘thank you’ to everybody at Manor and especially to Mercedes-Benz for their support and belief in me. I can’t wait for 2017 and my first full season racing in Formula One.”
Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Esteban as our new race driver. He’s an exceptional talent, as his status as a Mercedes Junior demonstrates. I have no doubt he will flourish inside our team. We’ve had our eye on Esteban for a number of years and have followed his progress. We ran him in the car last year during testing and his performance convinced us that he is more than capable of racing alongside Sergio. Force India has a tradition of investing in young, talented drivers. The arrival of Esteban will bring some fresh energy and motivation to everyone in the team.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“Esteban has the most impressive track record in junior formulae. He is an exceptional personality outside of the car. Force India have a strong record of working with young drivers and have again shown courage and vision to take Esteban under their wing. Even more, it is a positive development for Formula One that talent wins over money. We will be seeing some of the most impressive youngsters fighting to make it to the top in F1 over the coming years.”