Ocon recruited by Mercedes

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Reigning FIA Formula 3 champion Esteban Ocon will be supported by Mercedes-Benz this season as the 2015 GP3 Series gets underway in Barcelona this weekend.

The Frenchman, who tested for Lotus F1 at the end of 2014, will compete in GP3 with ART Grand Prix, a long-standing partner of Mercdedes-Benz. But he will also fulfill the role of test and reserve driver for the Mercedes AMG DTM outfit, which will bring the 18-year-old valuable experience of technical development programmes that are not part of the junior single seater formulae.

As part of the package of Mercedes-Benz support, Esteban has signed a contractual option that could see him become a fully fledged Mercedes-Benz driver in the future.

"I am proud to be racing with support from Mercedes-Benz and in a fantastic team like ART Grand Prix, " said Ocon. "I hope that I can compete for the title this year, starting with strong results in Barcelona. I spent last weekend with the DTM team in Hockenheim and hope that I can play a valuable role this year. But my main focus is on the opening races of the GP3 Series this weekend."

Mercedes' head of motorsport, Toto Wolff, was equally enthusiastic regarding his new recruit's future: “Esteban is a mega-talented young guy and one of the stars of the future. I’m pleased we’ve found a good path to continue his relationship with Mercedes-Benz, because we have a strong tradition of supporting the best young drivers with a view to their long-term potential. We will be watching Esteban’s progress with a lot of interest and I hope this year will be the first of many working together.”

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