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Ocon hoping two years in F1 will present 2020 opportunities

  • Published on 21 Jan 2019 13:52
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Esteban Ocon is hoping that the two years he spent in Formula 1 will be enough to secure him a seat on the 2020 grid. The Frenchman will sit out the 2019 season, after being ousted at Racing Point following the appointment of Lance Stroll.

Ocon made his debut with Manor Racing in the second half of the 2016 season, before spending two years at Force India. The 22-year-old's position at Force India, who has since been rebranded to Racing Point, was put in major doubt after Lawrence Stroll took over the outfit in August.

After striking up verbal agreements with both McLaren and Renault, they opted to go different ways, while Toro Rosso ruled him out due to his Mercedes links. 

Ocon has been linked to a Mercedes seat in 2020, and is hoping that his experience so far will be enough to make him an attractive option: "When you're not racing you don't earn anything." he told Autosport. "I hope that those two years were enough to prove I deserve a seat for 2020."

The 2015 GP3 champion believes that Mercedes will remember his results, as he consistently scored inside the top ten throughout his stay at Force India.

"I'm lucky, that's a positive to have the massive support from Mercedes," said Ocon. "Even in difficult times they remember my potential and what I've done. That's different to other junior programmes in F1.

"Mercedes remember, they don't leave you alone, they keep supporting you and believe in your potential. When they take you it's for a long time. That's the positive I see at the moment."

Replies (8)

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  • blade

    Posts: 341

    I worry about this guy - he's pinning all his hopes on a fireside chat? At his age he should be out there driving and improving his race craft.

    • + 0
    • Jan 21 2019 - 14:18
  • "Even in difficult times they remember my potential and what I've done."

    Of course they remember what you did! Giving up your position in Monaco to let Hamilton pass was very kind of you. Taking out Verstappen while "unlapping" yourself was great and even more memorable. Not only Mercedes remembers this, everyone does!


    "Mercedes remember, they don't leave you alone, they keep supporting you and believe in your potential."

    Some day they will call you when they need a rat for another dirty job.

    • + 0
    • Jan 21 2019 - 16:54
    • Overly dramatic, but mostly true. Mercedes have been supportive with Ocon, but I think it's pretty clear that they don't believe enough in him to have him drive a Mercedes. I feel pretty confident that the reserve driver role is the last one Esteban will hold with Mercedes. I doubt hi will be marketable in 2020. He left a bit of a bitter aftertaste with a lot of people on the grid, and there is a quite a bit of talent on the sidelines right now.

      • + 0
      • Jan 21 2019 - 19:07
  • "The Mercs remember", wasnt that how that famous GoT quote went?

    • + 0
    • Jan 21 2019 - 19:52
  • Kean

    Posts: 681

    I strongly believe he'll be on the grid in 2020, and I think he deserves to be. He'll either be in Racing Point or Mercedes.

    • + 0
    • Jan 21 2019 - 20:14
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      He wasn't very convincing in 2018 and did not build any bridges to other teams within F1. Who would want an driver that lets Mercedes drivers by as fast as he can. For me his behaviour that caused him to take out the leader of the race was dire and I would not miss him next year.

      The influence of Mercedes is now being limited because of their non-placement of F1 drivers in Mercedes powered teams. Only Williams might have an driver that is bound by their contract to let Mercedes drivers past. Can't see that RP or McLaren have this deal in place. Ferrari will have Sauber, Redbull has Toro Rosso. Renault doesn't seem to have anything like that in place.

      Next year will be a lot harder for Mercedes to bring home the WC.

      • + 0
      • Jan 21 2019 - 21:50
    • Kean

      Posts: 681

      I think he was convincing looking at the stats. Sure, he followed Toto’s orders (but look at the power Toto ”swings”, Ocon was in F1 because of Toto) and it was a dumbass move he did on Verstappen. But looking at the entire season not just a few incidences, his race stat against Perez was 10-11 and his quali stat against Perez was 16-5, with an average starting position of 9,95. Only Alo, Vet and Lec managed to outqualify their teammates more often, and the only driver to have a larger average time gap to his teammate was Leclerc. Mind Ocon was up against Perez. The points diff to Perez is explained by Baku, where Perez finished 3rd. And while that was a mega performance by Perez, that race also saw the most dnf’s of the season, including Bottas, Verstappen and Ricciardo. To me the stats reveal that Ocon is super fast, but he’s also young and need to work on his racecraft.

      • + 0
      • Jan 22 2019 - 07:48
  • f1ski

    Posts: 672

    With hindsight looking at all that Ocon was involved in especially with Perez I think the problem lay with Ocon. The problem is as he waits there will be equally talented drivers with better self control.

    • + 0
    • Jan 22 2019 - 23:45

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