FIA F3 European Champion Esteban Ocon will take part in first practice for this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with the Lotus F1 Team, as well as next week’s post-event test.
The 18-year-old Frenchman recently did a two-day test in an older Lotus at Valencia, as well as a Ferrari test as a prize for winning the F3 title. He impressed engineers on both occasions.
As well as the 90-minute session on Friday, he will do the opening day of the test on Tuesday, with compatriot and reserve driver Charles Pic taking over on the Wednesday.
?It is a fantastic opportunity for me to drive in my first session at a Grand Prix and I am tremendously grateful to Lotus F1 Team and Gravity Sport Management,” said Ocon.
“The practice session on Friday will be my first time driving the Yas Marina circuit and my first time in the latest generation Formula 1 car, so there will be a lot to learn, especially as I will be completing the team?s programme for the free practice session. For the test day we will have far more time me to learn and develop with the car so I?m really looking forward to Abu Dhabi.?
Federico Gastaldi, deputy team principal, said: ?Esteban is a superb young talent and we are particularly excited to give him this opportunity. He impressed all our engineers when he drove for us in Valencia, but this will be another step in his development programme.
“It?s great for us a team to support developing drivers, especially one with the potential of Esteban.”
Ocon is expected to move up to GP2 next year, and so is likely to stay on in Abu Dhabi next week for the official series test from Thursday to Saturday.