Esteban Ocon (born 17 September 1996) is a French racing driver who made his Formula One debut driving for Manor Racing in the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix, replacing Rio Haryanto. Ocon is part of the Mercedes-Benz driver development programme.
Born in Évreux, Normandy, Ocon entered karting in 2006, when he finished eighth in the French Minime Championship, before he won the championship the following year. He continued his winning streak in 2008 in the French Cadet Championship, before moving to the international scene in 2009. He moved into the KF3 category, staying until the end of 2011, when he won the French KF3 title and finished as runner-up in the WSK Euro Series.
Formula Renault (2012–2014)
Formula Renault 2.0 Series
In 2012, Ocon made his début in single-seaters, taking part in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with Koiranen Motorsport. He finished fourteenth with four point-scoring finishes, including podium at his home round at Le Castellet. He also contested a partial campaign in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps with Koiranen, finishing seventh with two podiums, both of which came at the Red Bull Ring.
For 2013, he decided to switch to the ART Junior Team. He took three podiums, as well as his first victory at Le Castellet and finished season on the third position in the standings.
Formula Renault 3.5 Series
Ocon joined the World Series by Renault’s 3.5 category for Comtec Racing at Hungaroring and Le Castellet, scoring two points in his first race.
Formula Three (2014)
Ocon made his Formula Three début at the Macau Grand Prix, racing for Prema Powerteam. In 2014 he expanded his collaboration with Prema into FIA European Formula Three Championship. He was on top position of the standings since first round at Silverstone and won the championship with a round to spare.
GP3 Series (2015)
On 11 March 2015, it was announced that Ocon would enter the series with ART Grand Prix. He claimed the championship despite only scoring one victory (two other victories were denied due to penalties) and pressure from Luca Ghiotto.
Ocon drove for Mercedes-Benz in the first 10 races of the 2016 DTM season, alongside his reserve driver role at Renault Sport F1. He was subsequently replaced by Felix Rosenqvist, following his promotion to Manor.
Formula One (2016–present)
Ocon took part in the first free practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 21 November 2014, driving for Lotus F1. He also took part in post race testing in Barcelona with Force India. Prior to his claiming of the GP3 title, it was announced that he would enter the junior programme of the Mercedes F1 team. In February 2016, it was announced that Ocon would act as reserve driver for the Renault Sport F1 team.
On 10 August 2016, it was announced that Ocon would drive for Manor Racing in the second half of the 2016 Formula One season, replacing Rio Haryanto who became the team’s reserve driver. Ocon made his Formula One debut at the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix, classified second-last. This was followed by a string of last-classified finishes, before finishing 12th in the chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix after dropping out of the points on the final lap.
Force India (2017)
On 10 November 2016, Force India announced that they had signed Ocon for the 2017 Formula One season as part of his multi-year contract with Mercedes.