If he was a part of the Mercedes younger driver program for 5 years and continues to see his profession managed by Toto Wolff and the model with the star, Esteban Ocon is above all an Alpine driver, insists the Austrian, and doesn’t is due to this fact not a direct candidate for a Mercedes seat for 2022.
Whereas it’s doubtless that Lewis Hamilton will pilot a Silver Arrow for a tenth consecutive season subsequent yr, Valtteri Bottas’ future is extra unsure, in a context the place the promising George Russell will see his contract with Williams come to an finish in the long run of the present marketing campaign. Esteban Ocon, in the meantime, had been severely thought-about by Mercedes to interchange the Finn in 2019 and particularly in 2020, with out success. This weekend, Wolff aptly talked about Ocon as a attainable candidate for a 2022 bucket seat, however he was eager to make clear his remarks afterwards.
“It is a bit of a bizarre scenario, as a result of he is been a younger Mercedes driver for a very long time (sic), and he is an Alpine manufacturing unit driver now”, Wolff identified. “It is a reality. I believe the scenario is sweet for him there. He is progressing, he is performing. He is French. All these planets are aligned. What to do sooner or later, I believe it have to be Laurent’s determination [Rossi, PDG d’Alpine] and Esteban first, earlier than we begin giving our opinion. “
As for the principle occasion, who impresses his supervisor together with his efficiency, he logically prefers to give attention to his present staff for the second.
“What I am specializing in is doing an excellent job right here at Alpine”, Ocon insists. “I believe we now have to be proud of our progress, and I am additionally proud of the progress I’ve made this yr. I am specializing in getting the absolute best lead to each race. In fact, if l ‘we carry out effectively, there are discussions and issues occurring. However my purpose is to carry out effectively for the staff I am operating with. Proper now I am right here at dwelling. “
Interview by Luke Smith