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Watching Verstappen, Leclerc success from sidelines 'mentally tough' - Ocon

  • Published on 13 Sep 2019 11:12
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Esteban Ocon admits it has been tough both mentally and emotionally watching Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc find success in 2019 while he has watched from the sidelines.

The Frenchman lost his seat in F1 at the end of the 2018 season and has spent the current year with Mercedes as its reserve driver.

However, he will return to the series next year once more, where he will partner Daniel Ricciardo at Renault.

When asked if he was looking forward to racing Verstappen and Leclerc once more next year, Ocon stated that he is hungry to drive, having watched both aforementioned drivers take two wins each so far this season.

"I'm looking forward to racing against those guys again," Ocon confirmed. "This year has been tough, mentally, and on the emotion side as well.

"Seeing those guys do so well, and me not being on the sideline is not something that is particularly great. But it can only make you stronger and more keen to come back, and I'll be hungry when I come back."

Ocon would have liked more on-track time

A number of drivers have taken years out in the past before finding success, with examples such as Mika Hakkinen and Fernando Alonso put to Ocon.

Ocon pointed out that drivers in previous eras had much more on-track testing available to them, however he is taking encouragement from his time in the simulator. 

"Of course, a lot of things. I didn't drive as much as I would have liked to," Ocon admitted. "Back in those days you could test the car and drive millions of kilometres before getting back in.

"But I've done that in the simulator, I've done tests on the parts the team has put on the car at the weekend. So I'm aware of all the latest news of those current generations of cars.

"That's a positive thing. But on the other side, not driving, I could have learned a part of the world of Formula 1 which is more experience, more knowledge for me and things for the future.

"Seeing what a team expects from the driver... some things you can't think about when you are racing because you don't hear the people speaking internally."

Replies (5)

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  • Not sure if renault will be doing much racing against ferrari and red bull...

    • + 0
    • Sep 13 2019 - 12:22
    • They will: while the two teams overtake Renault under blue flag.

      • + 0
      • Sep 13 2019 - 16:48
  • Dert38

    Posts: 354

    blah-blah

    • + 1
    • Sep 13 2019 - 14:16
  • Sorry Ocon, there is a reason you are without a drive: you don't have the talent the other two posses.

    • + 0
    • Sep 13 2019 - 16:48
  • The general consensus among the fans or the paddock is, Ocon is not as good as Charles or Verstappen. He is not promoted at the expense of friggin' Bottas ( who btw is not a bad driver by any means ). It's healthy if he stops comparing himself to them. His height is perhaps not doing justice to his ability.

    • + 1
    • Sep 13 2019 - 18:15

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  • Country Netherlands
  • Date of b. Sep 30 1997 (23)
  • Place of b. Hasselt (Belgie), Netherlands
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.80 m
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