Force India is expecting new recruit Esteban Ocon to show his mettle pretty quickly as the young charger tackles his first full season of Formula 1 racing.
Chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer hold the young Frenchman in high regard and vaunts his ability to adapt to any new environment.
“We’re hoping that Esteban can learn very quickly, which is one reason that we chose him because he does show the ability to get up to speed quickly,” said Szafnauer..
“We will teach him how to drive our car and our hope is he can challenge Checo, to take over from Nico.
“It’s a big ask, Nico had a lot of experience and is a very quick driver himself, but I think Esteban has got the potential in time to take over from Nico and do a good job and push Checo along.”
“I think it’s really important to have two drivers that can score points in the championship otherwise there’s a risk of falling behind. It’s important that Esteban steps up and scores points right away, early and often.”
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That’s certainly a tall order for Ocon, regardless of the level of praise heaped on the 20-year-old. Szafnauer is a believer but admits the Force India hopeful will have a lot on his plate.
“I think it’s a challenge for him just coming into the team, whether it’s an old car or a new car, but because all the cars are new I think that actually helps him relative to the others,” said Szafnauer.
“We’re just going to do the best job we can and see how that rattles out. We’re just going to make sure we’re the best prepared that we can be and then after that we’ll see where the others are.
“Whenever there is change there’s risk and opportunity, so we like to make sure that we’re stable, but we’re changing drivers so there’s always risk there.”
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