Ocon’s hopes of 2019 drive ‘less and less’

Date published: September 13 2018

Esteban Ocon's hopes of 2019 drive 'less and less'

Esteban Ocon admits his hopes of finding a race seat for next season are fading with rival teams not interested in signing a Mercedes driver.

Ocon, set to lose his Force India race seat to Lance Stroll, was reportedly close to signing with McLaren before catching Renault’s attention.

Both teams, though, said no due to his Mercedes links and instead signed other drivers.

His options for 2019 are now fading fast.

“There are still hopes, yes, but less and less, as you know,” Ocon said.

That is what I am disappointed [about] at the moment – to see that it is not only results that come in play.

“It has to be other things, and that is what I am disappointed about – to be in that situation, because it is hard to believe that I was in a great position two months ago and things have come that way now.”

He added: “I am not frustrated, I am really disappointed. That is more the word.

“I am not upset against anyone or anything. But I have worked really hard to get here, I keep working really hard to perform those last two years.

“This year I have progressed compared to last year and it is 11-3 in qualifying against Sergio [Perez].

“I am fighting hard to do the best I can every race and arriving here, not knowing what I will do next year is hard to swallow obviously.”

The Frenchman was asked for his side of the story admits reports that he had been offered a McLaren seat only to turn them down in favour of Renault, which he ultimately lost to Daniel Ricciardo.

He said: “I was in a fantastic position a couple of months ago. And yeah, it has turned in a way that [I’m] without a seat now.”

Pressed on the Renault side of the story and whether he felt they had let him down, he replied: “I’m not going to comment on this.”

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