Esteban Ocon joins Sahara Force India

Esteban Ocon, 20, replaced Rio Haryanto at Manor Racing Team at this year's Belgian GP in August with a best finish of 16th in Belgium and Malaysia.

ESTEBAN OCON

Esteban Ocon (in picture) will partner Sergio Perez as Nico Hulkenberg's replacement at Sahara Force India.   -  Getty Images

Frenchman Esteban Ocon will replace Renault-bound Nico Hulkenburg at Sahara Force India from 2017. The 20-year-old replaced Rio Haryanto at Manor Racing Team at this year's Belgian GP in August with a best finish of 16th in Belgium and Malaysia.

"I'm very excited to join Sahara Force India," said Esteban Ocon, "I know the team quite well already because I was a test driver last year and I’m really looking forward to working with everybody at Silverstone once again."

"I’m still relatively new to Formula One, but spending half a season at Manor Racing has given me some valuable experience and I feel ready for this new opportunity with Sahara Force India. I want to say 'thank you’ to everybody at Manor and especially to Mercedes-Benz for their support and belief in me. I can’t wait for 2017 and my first full season racing in Formula One."

Sahara Force India team principal Vijay Mallya said, "It’s a pleasure to welcome Esteban as our new race driver. He’s an exceptional talent, as his status as a Mercedes Junior demonstrates, and I have no doubt he will flourish inside our team."

"We’ve had our eye on Esteban for a number of years and have followed his progress through the junior categories where he delivered outstanding results. We ran him in the car last year during testing and his performance convinced us that he is more than capable of racing alongside Sergio."

"Sahara Force India has a tradition of investing in young, talented drivers and the arrival of Esteban will bring some fresh energy and motivation to everyone in the team."