A sublime opportunity for the former Mercedes test driver to evaluate since from the beginning the team’s methodology and strategy. Yet, even if the new car is just a mere project, Esteban will have the first taste with the R.S. 19 chassis and the E-Tech Power Unit: without the massive changes of regulations that will arise in 2021, the character of the single seater is likely to be similar.
Yesterday Mercedes gave the placet to the French in allowing him to jump earlier than the contract expiry.
NEWS 🚨— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) November 20, 2019
Esteban Ocon will officially join Renault F1 Team on Monday 2nd December and will take part in both test days at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on 3rd and 4th December.#RSspirit pic.twitter.com/NthLLSZZlc
A remarkable gesture from the top team of the turbo era, that could have almost nothing to gain and much more to lose: Esteban has been on the verge of driving such that car, but in the last moments of the drivers’ market Bottas was preferred.
Even Ricciardo, exiting the doors at Red Bull last year, didn’t had the same privilege in jumping on the new car right after the season’s farewell in the Arabian night; Chris Horner and Helmut Marko wanted to made a warning to all the drivers being proteges from the energetic drink: “If You quit from us, don’t expect exemptions for the future” was the message transmitted to them.
And the Aussie will be the key for Ocon’s 2020 season development: Abiteboul told to the F1 Podcast that the decision behind hiring the ‘kid’ was that “The problem sometimes in Formula 1 is you have people doing very long careers, and at the end, they are a bit [there] to be in Formula 1 and almost [winning] becomes secondary. I don’t want that at any point in the company”
And apart from this, the thrill will be the administration of the two youngsters in the same team: “[Esteban] will want to beat Daniel. And I know that we will have some challenges from a driver management perspective on the pit wall to manage that. But that’s also a nice problem to have”