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Esteban Ocon joins Mercedes’ DTM efforts for 2016

Photo: ITR e.V

Following on from the announcement of reigning Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) champion Pascal Wehrlein favouring Formula One for the forthcoming 2016 season, Esteban Ocon takes the 21-year-old’s place in the revised line-up for Mercedes-AMG DTM.

Ocon, who also secured a reserve and test driver role with Renault Sport F1 team for this year, was the Stuttgart outfit’s reserve driver last year. He was also able to drive the C-Class AMG Coupé instead of Daniel Juncadella during the first free practice session at last year’s Hockenheim finale.

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The Frenchman has won the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and the GP3 Series driver titles over the past two seasons, showcasing his skills as a recognized young talent. Ocon becomes the second driver from France that will compete in the DTM this season, alongside Audi Sport’s Adrien Tambay.

He will run with #34 in the brand-new C-Class Coupé that makes it debut at testing later on this month at the Monteblanco circuit in southern Spain.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be part of such a professional and strong racing series. I’m very pleased to be driving for Mercedes-Benz. It’s the best team in the DTM and I’m very grateful for this fantastic opportunity,” said the 19-year-old, who is looking forward to making his full race debut at Hockenheim in May.
“Mercedes is the most successful manufacturer in DTM history. You can only achieve that with real passion and hard work, and those are characteristics that we share.”
Two champions in the form of Gary Paffett and Paul Di Resta retain their spots in the current line-up, with Juncadella, Christian Vietoris, Lucas Auer, Maximillian Götz, Robert Wickens completing the eight drivers that will race in the DTM this year, depsite there being no #1 on any of their cars this year.
“We’re aiming for stability in the team after a successful 2015,” explained Mead of Mercedes-AMG DTM Ulrich Fritz, who cordially thanked Wehrlein for his contribution towards the team taking the driver and team titles last season.
“Esteban Ocon has learned a lot as our test and reserve driver and is ready for his rookie season in the DTM. Esteban proved his talent last year by winning the GP3 Series title. Of course, he still has much to learn, but with his seven team-mates, he can draw on the combined experience of 31 DTM seasons.
“When you start the season as defending champions, it’s hard to have any other goal than winning the championship. But everyone knows just how competitive the DTM is and it won’t be an easy task.”
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