Esteban Ocon has a “good first impression” with Renault after Abu Dhabi test

03-12-2019 16:10
by Bevan Youl
General
Esteban Ocon has a “good first impression” with Renault after Abu Dhabi test

Esteban Ocon has said that he has a “good first impression” with Renault after testing for them around the Yas Marina Circuit ahead of his return to the grid full time in 2020.

Ocon, who replaces Nico Hulkenberg, completed his first outing with the French team in the standard post season testing in Abu Dhabi, having been Mercedes reserve driver for 2019 after being dropped by SportPesa Racing Point for Lance Stroll.
 
The Frenchman completed a total of 77 laps and set the eighth best time just under 1:40, whilst testing the proposed 2020 Pirelli tyres.
 
“I was so excited for today,” said Ocon as quoted by RaceFans. “I’ve been waiting for that day for months and finally it happened.

“I have a good first impression. The team gave me a very warm welcome, which is always very satisfying, seeing some old faces, some new faces as well, which is great.

“Now we properly started to work on all the little details. Towards the afternoon I started to get closer and closer to the limit. So it feels nice.”

Having been in the reserve role for a year the 23-year old felt the Renault powered RS19 felt good but was a different feel to driving with a Mercedes power unit, whilst appreciating teammate Daniel Ricciardo’s and Hulkenberg’s height and need for space.

“It feels good. Obviously there’s always a lot that you can improve,” he added.

“But the engine is also something new for me since couple of years. Good power.
 
“Then, of course, the balance, you need to always work on it. It’s never perfect [but] I think we have a solid base that we can continue tomorrow.
 
“My seat position is a bit better than that car because there’s more space. Obviously Nico and Daniel are taller than Valtteri [Bottas] and Lewis [Hamilton].

“Just getting to know everyone and getting to work with new people, it’s very different.

“I think this is what’s going to take the most time, for all of us to understand each other perfectly.

“There’s always a lot to say in the first day. So that’s the most complicated one and the one you need to get your focus the most on.”

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