Esteban Ocon’s F1 career has been pretty good so far. He impressed when he joined Manor half way through last year and he’s been having a good season for Force India, scoring points on a regular basis and putting in quietly impressive performances.
But in Canada he went from being ‘quietly impressive’ to…err…’loudly impressive’. He spent much of the race running right up at the front and looked more than capable of scoring a podium, had teammate Sergio Perez played ball when it came to team orders.
In the wake of Ocon’s drive Mercedes Boss Toto Wolff has praised the young Frenchman for his driving:
“Force India could have done many more points. He did a great race. Really fantastic for his first season. He’s developing just in the right way, he’s going to be a superstar of the future.”
A superstar of the future eh? It’d be hard to disagree with that! You know you’re doing well when the boss of a team like Mercedes openly praises your performance, too. And remember, Ocon is part of the Mercedes driver development programme. If he keeps up with the excellent drives then a seat in one of the silver cars might not be too far away at all.
Unsurprisingly Force India is also delighted with its young driver, with the teams COO Otmar Szafnauer also praising the 20-year-old:
“It’s hard to predict the future but we’re happy he’s done what we thought he could do. We’ve got two drivers that can work together and now they’re close together which means they’ll be pushing each other. We had that with Nico [Hulkenberg] and Sergio and we were a little unsure with Esteban, we thought, but he’s quickly gotten up to speed now and that will just push both of them forward.”
It hasn’t taken long for Ocon to get up to the speed of Perez and it certainly caused a bit of fireworks during the Canadian Grand Prix. Chances are that won’t be the only bit of drama we see between the two Force India drivers this year.
Do you agree with Toto and think Ocon is set to become one of the superstars of the sport? Let us know in the comments!