Esteban Ocon is a freshman in Melbourne!

© XPB 

Esteban Ocon is facing two firsts this weekend in Melbourne: his inaugural race with Force India and his first time racing around Albert Park.

The 20-year-old Frenchman jumped on board the F1 freight train in the latter part of the 2016 season with Manor but his undeniable talent is now being fostered by Force India.

Ocon is still on a learning curve with a double-challenge coming his way in Melbourne, but the hurdles don't impress the young charger.

"I am feeling great after a long winter and I'm very excited to go to Melbourne," Ocon said.

"It will be the first time racing at Albert Park for me, so I do not really know the track, but last year I went there and I liked what I could see.

"It's a proper old-school track and these are the sorts of circuit I really enjoy.

"Of course it's not easy when you don't know the track in advance, so it's especially important to learn quickly in the Friday sessions and listen to the feedback from the engineers - whether it's where I can be faster or where we can make the car quicker. I think I have all the tools and all the people around me to do that."

Ocon built his confidence over the winter with extensive simulator work followed by two weeks of pre-season testing in Barcelona where Force India enjoyed the porper bledn of performance and reliability.

"I think we did a good job as a team during winter testing and I also feel confident because of all the simulator work we did over the winter," he added.

"We continue to push on the simulator and I was at the factory a few days ago doing the final preparation for Melbourne.

" I was very open to the team - I told them I'd be available at HQ as much as they needed me over the winter and I feel satisfied with the work we've done together so far.

"I think we're on track to extract everything we can from the car, which is our objective. We'll go out and do the best we can and see where we are."

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