|© Force India
After having made his Formula One debut late in August, Esteban Ocon has already got a boost in his career.
The rookie has been announced to race for Force India next season and beyond following the signing of a multi-year contract, taking up the spot vacated by the Renault-bound Nico Hulkenberg.
By the time the Frenchman, who was also sought by Renault for 2017, makes his next move, the 20-year-old would have completed just nine races.
"I know (Force India) quite well already because I was a test driver last year," said Ocon, who would team up with Sergio Perez next year. "I'm still relatively new to Formula One, but spending half a season at Manor Racing has given me some valuable experience."
Ocon arrived in F1 from Mercedes' junior stable, as did his current Manor teammate Pascal Wehrlien. The German too made his debut this year at the season-opener and even scored points for the struggling team but his future is yet to be decided.
"We've had our eye on Esteban for a number of years and have followed his progress through the junior categories where he delivered outstanding results," explained team principal Vijay Mallya. "We ran him in the car last year during testing and his performance convinced us that he is more than capable of racing alongside Sergio."