Manor racing director Dave Ryan says Esteban Ocon has “huge potential”, while also praising the Frenchman’s “fantastic attitude” since his Formula One graduation.
Having replaced Rio Haryanto after the summer break, Ocon kicked off his grand prix career with a trio of challenging races amid reliability issues.
The 20-year-old turned a corner in Malaysia where, aided by a new seating position to accommodate his tall frame, he outqualified team-mate Pascal Wehrlein for the first time.
“To arrive part-way through the season into a team that has been developing along with Pascal is a big ask,” Ryan is quoted as saying at Sepang by Crash.net.
“We haven't helped the situation because he hasn't had the best of reliability up until now. But the kid's fantastic. He's got a fantastic attitude, he's got huge potential and together with him and Pascal it's a great driving line-up.”
Ocon followed up his Malaysia breakthrough with a strong weekend in Japan where he beat Wehrlein in both qualifying and the race.
The Normandy-born racer, who remains a Mercedes junior but also serves as Renault’s third driver, has been tipped for a full-time role with the French manufacturer in 2017, where he would partner new recruit Nico Hulkenberg.