Toto Wolff says Esteban Ocon's move to Renault is "better for his career"

11-09-2019 15:01
by Louis Shaw
General
Toto Wolff says Esteban Ocon's move to Renault is better for his career

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes that Esteban Ocon will succeed as a Renault driver next season and that driving for the French team will suit him more. It was announced today that Ocon does not have a clause in his contract that would see him return to Mercedes in 2021 so the Frenchman will hope Renault continue to develop over the next few years. 

"We believe in Esteban and he has made great progress for a long time," Wolff said to Motorsport-Total.com. “He had opportunities at Manor in 2016 and at Force India in 2017 and 2018 and that worked well. 

"After a year without a seat, we had to make a decision about whether we could save his career in F1. He wanted to race alongside Lewis, but would it have been the right time for it?”

Wolff believes that Ocon will develop further at Renault. 

“The situation at Renault is currently better for his career, as a French driver with a French factory team and he has Ricciardo as a frame of reference. Ocon is now 22 years old and still has 15 years ahead in Formula 1."

The main reason for Mercedes not putting Ocon in a driving seat is because they don't want a repeat of the Hamilton Rosberg relationship.  

“We have had a number of difficult years with Nico and Lewis. There was a bad atmosphere back then."

It will be interesting to see how Ocon does at Renault and if Mercedes end up regretting their decision to let him go. 

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