Ocon: DTM better preparation than GP2
28 February 2016 – GP3 champion Esteban Ocon says he pushed for a race seat in the DTM over GP2 because he feels that the touring car series will better prepare him for Formula 1.
Ocon, 19, will move to the DTM in 2016 with Mercedes' ART team, after champion Pascal Wehrlein, also backed by the German marque, claimed a Formula 1 drive at Manor.
Ocon, who has also been signed as Renault's reserve driver in a loan deal, made clear that the DTM was always his preferred option as he climbs up the ladder.
"I really pushed hard to get that seat," Ocon told GPUpdate.net.
"It's a great series, it's very professional and it's high-level. You work for a brand in the DTM, at the end of the day, so there are a lot of people involved.
"That's why I wanted to push for DTM instead of GP2. You work with a lot of people, and I think that's where I have to improve more, than the Pirelli tyre for example.
"For me it's better preparation than GP2."
Ocon is well aware of the challenge that the DTM poses, with limited pre-season test days, but nonetheless hopes to fight for poles and wins in his debut season.
"To learn as quick as I can, to fight for victories, making poles and making a strong year," he said, when asked about his ambitions for the campaign ahead.
"It would not be probably be realistic if I say my target is to win – I'm always saying that. But it's a very difficult championship, so I just want to improve myself.
"It will be hard to arrive and be quick, but I never come just to participate. I want to be at the front, and if I can win the championship at the end it would be amazing!"
Ocon is also set for a selection of test and practice outings with Renault this year, though the French manufacturer is yet to officially confirm its plans.