Ocon to drive for Renault next season

Esteban Ocon (Getty)
Esteban Ocon (Getty)

Spa-Francorchamps - Frenchman Esteban Ocon will join Australian Daniel Ricciardo at Renault from next season on a two-year contract, the French Formula One team said on Thursday.

Ocon, 22, is currently reserve driver with world champion team Mercedes, who announced earlier on Thursday that Finland's Valtteri Bottas would remain with the team next season.

"We are very happy to work with Esteban for the next two seasons," said Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul in a team statement.

"Over his F1 career Esteban has experienced the highs and lows of the sport, and fully understood the need to seize every possible chance."

Renault are having a difficult season, currently languishing in sixth place in the constructors' championship after scoring no points in the last two grands prix. Their pre-season target was third place behind Mercedes and Red Bull.

"First and foremost, I am very proud to become a Renault driver," said Ocon, who began his Formula One career for Manor Racing in mid-2016.

"It is a responsibility I take very seriously. The confidence they have in me to help the progression of the team is a very positive pressure and I look forward to giving the best of myself."

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