The lowdown on Esteban Ocon
2017: 8th. Born: 17/9/1996.
One of a number of rising young stars on the grid, Esteban Ocon will be seeking to show that the success of his first full season in F1 was no fluke.
The feisty French racer scored points in all but two of his 20 starts, finishing eighth overall as he helped Force India to fourth place in the constructors’ championship for the second year in a row.
Ocon’s relationship with senior team-mate Sergio Perez was tumultuous to say the least, but they survived a series of controversies to match the team’s best result since entering F1 in 2008.
Ocon was signed as Nico Hulkenberg’s successor after making his F1 race debut for the now defunct Manor team in the second half of the 2016 season, replacing Rio Haryanto.
He made his mark in 2014, beating future F1 race-winner Max Verstappen to the F1 Euro championship and taking part in Friday practice for the then Lotus team in Abu Dhabi.
A Mercedes junior driver graduate, Ocon tucked away another trophy in his growing cabinet with the GP3 Series title in 2015 and also tested with Force India – he obviously made a good impression!