Esteban Ocon drove the E22 in Free Practice 1 at Yas Marina Circuit
Lotus F1 Team Junior driver Esteban Ocon did his first ever outing in Formula 1 during a Grand Prix weekend and he impressed at the wheel of the E22 in Free Practice 1 this afternoon running alongside Pastor Maldonado. Romain Grosjean returned to partner Pastor in the evening FP2 session. Both cars ran reliably throughout today and the team completed a total of 133 laps on the opening day of practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit.
How did this morning go for you Esteban?
It was really great to have been given this opportunity and I have enjoyed it immensely. First I had to adapt to the car so that was an important task. The E22 is very different from the E20 that I drove in Spain last month. It has more buttons on the steering wheel, the procedures are different with the power unit etc. Basically it was very different from any other car I have driven before but I got comfortable in the E22 quite rapidly.
Did the team put in place a special programme for you?
It was a normal session. The first run was probably the trickiest; I had to learn quickly in order to be able to make the most of the session for myself and also for the team. We had a specific to-do list in view to make preparations for the race. The engineers gave me some time to adapt and get to grips with the car and the procedures first. Once I got used to things, I was good to start work in earnest throughout the session.
How did the post free practice debrief sessions go and what type of feedback did you get?
They went well I think. The format of the debrief sessions are a bit similar to what I have known already in F3 although they are more people here! I received good feedback from the engineers, I think that they were happy which in return makes me happy! To be honest, I can’t wait to go back in to the car for the test after the Grand prix.
Finally, have you spoken to Max Verstappen yet this weekend?
We were great competitors during the season…He’s sent me a few messages this weekend already! He asked what I thought of the 2014 cars versus the 2012 cars…