Ocon situation is ‘really complicated’

Date published: September 5 2018

Esteban Ocon situation is 'really complicated'

Esteban Ocon’s future in Formula 1 is “really complicated”, however, Toto Wolff is optimistic the Frenchman will in time be in a racing winning car.

On the verge of losing his Force India race seat to Lance Stroll, whose father has bought the team, Mercedes were in the hunt for a new home for their young driver.

The team initially lined up Renault only for the French manufacturer to sign Daniel Ricciardo as Nico Hulkenberg’s 2019 team-mate.

The next option was reportedly McLaren, however, they instead announced Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz as their new line up.

A move to Toro Rosso could also be out of the question with Helmut Marko seemingly not keen to take on a Mercedes driver.

With his options for 2019 running out, Wolff concedes sorting out Ocon’s future is proving to be tricky.

“On drivers, the situation is really complicated,” the Mercedes motorsport boss told Crash.net.

“Obviously with Esteban, it looked like we had a deal with Renault. And within 48 hours, things changed.

“Agreements suddenly were not agreements any more. But I can understand the rationale of Renault getting Ricciardo on board.

“It’s just the way that things panned out was not ideal for Esteban, and it would be really a shame if a timing issue or intransparent communication would be a reason for such a kid with ability not to find the right seat for next year.”

Despite not knowing where Ocon will be next season, Wolff still believes the 21-year-old has a bright future.

He added: “My long-term perspective on him [Ocon] is still very optimistic.

“He can drive, and he has a great personality, and eventually he’s going to be in a car that wins races and maybe a championship.”

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