Renault has announced that Esteban Ocon will replace Nico Hulkenberg next season, partnering Daniel Ricciardo on a multi-year contract.
Ocon’s move comes after Mercedes announced that they’re retaining Valtteri Bottas next season, thereby ending the Frenchman’s four year association with the Silver Arrows.
Speaking about the move, Ocon said; “First and foremost, I am very proud to become a Renault driver. I have grown up at Enstone, starting with Lotus in 2010 then with Renault.
“I am very attached to this team and everyone who works there; they are the ones who opened the doors of top level motorsport for me.
“Secondly, I am pleased that a team with big ambitions has entrusted me with the opportunity to once again demonstrate my skills at the highest level of F1. It is a responsibility I take very seriously.
“The confidence they have in me to help the progression of the team is a very positive pressure and I look forward to giving the best of myself.”
This announcement also means that Nico Hulkenberg is set to depart Renault at end of season, with Haas thought to be his likely destination if rumours of Romain Grosjean’s departure proves correct.
Renault Team Principal, Cyril Abiteboul has paid tribute to Hulkenberg, saying; “I wish to thank Nico for his phenomenal involvement and massive contribution to our progress over the past three seasons.
“When Nico decided to join us, the team was ninth. He brought us to fourth place last year, and was classified seventh in the drivers’ championship. The imminent end of his contract made this decision a difficult one as Nico has been a pillar of this progress.”