Esteban Ocon sure he and Mercedes “will see each other again”

20-01-2020 16:28
by Bevan Youl
General
Esteban Ocon sure he and Mercedes “will see each other again”

Esteban Ocon has said that he is sure he and Mercedes “will see each other again” in the future after swapping from a reserve role to drive at Renault for 2020 as he is still managed by the car manufacturer.

Ocon has been part of the Mercedes-Benz driver development programme since 2015 which has seen him drive in Formula 1 for Manor in 2016 and Force India (now SportPesa Racing Point) in 2017 and 2018.
 
But the Frenchman had been unable to maintain a seat for 2019, going on to become reserve driver for the Silver Arrows behind Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
 
With Bottas’ contract due to finish at the end of 2019 Toto Wolff had the decision on his hands to either promote Ocon or keep the Finn for an extra year, opting for the latter during the summer break.
 
The 23-year old says that he was close to partnering Hamilton for 2020 before the move to Renault, but feels a return could happen in the future due to being managed by the car company.
 
“Very close,” Said Ocon to ESPN of a Mercedes drive.
 
“And until the last moment there were discussions. But that's done now and I have to look ahead and what I have in front of me.
 
“I don't think I am going to go into details. Maybe if you ask Toto. I think it was only him taking the decision, but I think he can explain it better. He explained it to me also, but his main reason is that of course I am still young and I have time.
 
“I'm still managed by Mercedes, which is different to the actual team. But the future is long in Formula One and I'm sure we will see each other again. We are not that far away from each other [in the paddock] anyway!”
 
Ocon will be at Renault until the end of 2021, partnering Daniel Ricciardo this year as the French team try to make their way back to the top of F1.

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