Ocon 'pumped' to make F1 debut at 'magical' Spa


Esteban Ocon is "pumped" to make his first foray into Formula One as he prepares to drive for Manor at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend.

The 19-year-old, a member of the Mercedes-Benz development programme, had been working as a reserve driver for Renault before being called up by Manor to replace the outgoing Rio Haryanto.

Haryanto had raced for Manor until the mid-season break, but after his sponsorship ran out it was announced earlier this month that Ocon would take over for the remainder of the 2016 calendar.

And the Frenchman is eager to get in the cockpit and show the F1 world what he can do around the famous Spa circuit.

"I'm pumped. It's a moment I've dreamed of for so long. I can't wait to get started," he said.

"The last two weeks have seemed like an eternity, but I've had a good break with plenty of time to think about how I'm going to approach things, so I'm ready to go!

"I've raced here before in F3 and GP3, so that will help for sure. I couldn't have wished for a better place to start my F1 racing career.

"Spa is a magical circuit, with so much history and such a technical challenge for a driver. Plus it's pretty close to being a home race for me. All of that makes this weekend pretty special.

"I want to do a good job of getting to know the car, my crew, the whole team and get a really good weekend as something to build on. That's my goal.

"I have some family here this weekend to cheer me on. We're all very close, so this is a big weekend for them after all the support I've had getting to this point. I want to do well for them."