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Ocon handed Renault FP1 outing in Hungary

18 Jul 2016

Esteban Ocon will make his third practice appearance of the season for Renault on the Friday morning of this weekend's Grand Prix in Hungary.

The 19-year-old Frenchman has already taken part in FP1 in Spain and Great Britain, in place of Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen respectively, as part of his duties as the team's reserve driver, which he is combining with racing for Mercedes in Germany's DTM series.

Renault team principal Fred Vasseur confirmed he will be on duty again at the Hungaroring, which comes after Ocon impressed for Mercedes on both days of in-season testing at Silverstone last week.

"Esteban was kept busy by AMG Mercedes for two days at Silverstone, so we'll be checking what he's allowed to tell us about that experience!" Vasseur said.

"The plan is for him to drive again in FP1 in Hungary as part of his season-long programme."

Ocon has been continually linked to a full-time seat at Renault next year, although Palmer dismissed any fears about his own future during his home Grand Prix. The Briton suffered a fiery end to his test programme with the team at Silverstone, although Vasseur says the team will analyse and learn from such issues.

"The car caught fire. This looks to be the result of a hydraulic leak and we're naturally investigating what happened," Vasseur explained. "The fortunate thing is that the fire happened on the final in-lap of the day so we were able to complete all we could for that day.

"We didn't have a good weekend in many regards. The pace was not fantastic and we had a few incidents during the race too. Our reliability was not where we wanted it to be and there was a mistake in a pit stop which proved damaging to our strategy too.

"We know the areas where we need to improve - this year is all about developing the team, maintaining focus and getting all the details in place to be able to deliver once we have achieved the stronger performance that we're all working towards."