The silly season is beginning to sort itself out as another midfield F1 seat for the 2017 season has been snapped up, with Force India announcing Esteban Ocon.
The 20-year-old French youngster will switch from Manor to Force India, in what has been called a “multi-year” deal.
Ocon has been hot property since winning the European Formula 3 title in 2014, testing for Lotus before becoming a test driver for Force India, while racing in GP3 in 2015 (eventually winning the championship).
He became even busier towards the end of last year, when he joined Mercedes as a junior driver, before being loaned to Renault as its reserve/third driver at the start of this season, all while competing in the DTM series.
But mid-way through the year, Manor opted to drop Rio Haryanto after the Indonesian driver ran out of dollar and brought Ocon in as a replacement.
He’ll make the step up to a full-time F1 drive next year with Force India, a team he knows well and with the security of a multi-year contract too.
— Esteban Ocon (@OconEsteban) November 10, 2016
Ocon joins Force India alongside Sergio Perez and replaces the Renault-bound Nico Hulkenberg. It leaves a space open at Manor, with the team yet to confirm its driver line-up for next season.