Pascal Wehrlein has admitted he is disappointed to miss out on the vacant Force India seat for 2017.
With Nico Hulkenberg moving on to Renault for next year, an opening has arisen at the Mercedes customer team, but they have opted to sign the less experienced Ocon over his Mercedes junior counterpart Wehrlein.
"Toto (Wolff) called me," he said. "He said Force India chose Esteban and I will have to understand why that is or what I can improve from my side."
Wehrlein is now expected to stay with Manor for a second season, with the Haas refugee Esteban Gutierrez one of the names being linked with the team alongside him.
Wehrlein said in Brazil: "It is not the end of the world, it is a missed opportunity but I am happy to stay here and try to make another step next year."
Asked how he is coping with the news, Wehrlein said: "I have to deal with it.
"I can say something bad now but that will not help me. It has been coming for days and yesterday I got the confirmation and all I can do is wish Esteban all the best.
"I will now continue to show on the track what I have in me - this is a small step back but no more," he insisted.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing