Esteban Ocon to test for Renault in Abu Dhabi

Esteban Ocon will start work at Renault the day after the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP – and drive their 2019 car at the test that follows.

The Frenchman, who has spent this year in a reserve role at Mercedes, is substituting  Nico Hulkenberg in Renault’s line-up for 2020 next to Daniel Ricciardo.

Renault have now confirmed that Ocon will start preparation work for next year in the tyre test at Yas Marina on December 3-4, the final F1 track running of 2019.

“Esteban Ocon will officially join Renault on Monday 2nd December and will take part in both test days at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on 3rd and 4th December,” Renault stated.

The 23-year-old made his F1 weekend with the Enstone team, then known as Lotus, in Practice One at the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP and spent a half-year there as third driver in 2016 before landing a race seat at Manor.

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Ocon then spent two seasons at Force India before losing his seat for this season.

The two-day post-season test in Abu Dhabi will see teams run the planned 2020 Pirelli tyres, with the Italian manufacturer having worked to develop them outside of race weekends through the year.

The arrival of Ocon at Renault, and the expected promotion of Nicholas Latifi at Williams in place of the departing Robert Kubica, are the only two seats set to switch hands over the winter grid.

The Mercedes reserve driver said in Brazil that he hopes Mercedes lets him carry out the post-race Abu Dhabi test with Renault.

“I hope I can do the test in Abu Dhabi, but the two teams will have to decide if that is possible,” he said.

His most recent F1 track mileage was completed at Paul Ricard in October, when he participated in 2020 Pirelli tyre testing with the current Mercedes W10.

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