ABU DHABI - Esteban Ocon started work as a Renault Formula One driver in Abu Dhabi post-season testing on Tuesday, after a year as a reserve for champions Mercedes, and said it was good to be back behind the wheel.
The 23-year-old Frenchman lost his drive with Racing Point at the end of 2018 but has returned to replace departed German Nico Hulkenberg for 2020.
He told France's Le Figaro newspaper he might have returned last weekend as a stand-in when Williams' British rookie George Russell reported sick at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but that did not happen.
"I couldn't get in the car. It was obviously impossible," the 1.86m driver said, reporting for duty at Yas Marina.
If the title-winning Mercedes was a squeeze, with six times world champion Lewis Hamilton and team mate Valtteri Bottas both shorter than Ocon, the Frenchman was closer to Hulkenberg's 1.84m measurement.