Esteban Ocon, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2019

Mercedes planning to run Ocon in extra tyre test

2019 Russian Grand Prix

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Esteban Ocon will have a last chance to drive a Mercedes Formula 1 car in next week’s tyre test before he joins Renault for next season.

The team has stopped Ocon’s simulator work ahead of his switch to their rivals. However they will call on him for the extra test which is being held between the Russian and Japanese Grands Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Mercedes technical director James Allison said adding the extra test to help Pirelli develop their tyre compounds for the 2020 F1 season was “tough but do-able” when asked by RaceFans.

“The aim of getting better tyres is a noble one,” he added. “We’re just leaning heavily on people who are knackered but they’ll stand up and do it. I think Esteban Ocon is going to drive.”

Red Bull’s chief engineer for car engineering Paul Monaghan said the extra test made life “very difficult indeed” for them ahead of Honda’s home race.

“We are heading to Suzuka, clearly with Honda we want to be in the best shape we can be. And now we’re being pulled to Barcelona as well so it’s mighty challenging.

“We’ll do it, we certainly will do it, we’ll run a car. Jake Dennis I believe is going to drive it. He’s driven our car many times before, he’ll be fine, he’ll do a good job for us and we’ll go and do a tyre test.”

Sebastian Vettel will drive Ferrari’s car before heading immediately to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix weekend.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “Mercedes planning to run Ocon in extra tyre test”

  1. So sad to see him go. He would have been a great team mate to Lewis and the next Mercedes superstar which Bottas can never be.

    1. Lewis is too scared of OCO.

      I hope OCO gives all the secrets to renault.

    2. @amg44 People thought Bottas was a great driver too before he got paired with Hamilton. He annihilated Massa even though Rob Smedley was always looking out for Massa on the strategy side and regularly gave Bottas the short end of the stick. Also, as a rookie Bottas beat Maldonado, perhaps not that much praise, but finishing ahead as a rookie is never easy.

      Ocon was clearly better than Perez, but not by a lot. Perez is a mid field driver at best. So what does that say about Ocon then?

      I get that people would hope for more fireworks seeing how Perez and Ocon kept running into each other, but to claim that Ocon would do any better than Bottas is based on nothing. In fact all evidence supports the opposite.

      1. No. we never did.

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