Esteban Ocon says it is positive that he is being spoken about with regards to a 2020 seat in Formula 1 even if he has heard multiple different rumors about his future.
Over the past two races in Germany and Hungary, the Mercedes reserve driver has been linked with a drive at Renault next season as well as having Toto Wolff publicly state he will use the mid-season break to make a decision on whether Ocon or Valtteri Bottas will partner Lewis Hamilton in 2020. Although there are multiple seats he has been linked with, Ocon is simply glad to still be in the frame for a drive.
“We will see how everything goes,” Ocon told MBC Action. “Of course there are a lot of discussions going on at the moment, which is always positive. It’s going to be a busy summer break — my phone is going to be warm quite a lot but it’s a good thing.
“You know, as long as there are rumors it’s a positive thing. When you are the third driver it’s difficult — you hope people will not forget you and at the moment it seems they didn’t, so it’s a good thing.”
Wolff says he would be willing to release the 22-year-old to drive for another team if he doesn’t promote him to a Mercedes race seat next season.
“If you can’t provide an opportunity for a young driver then you’ve got to make compromises,” Wolff said. “And certainly I wouldn’t… sabotage Esteban’s career by blocking him and not releasing him to drive in Formula 1. And he is a great personality as he said he would understand if we were to do this and if needed he’d stay in the Mercedes family and do something else with us.
“But I think he must be given the opportunity in Formula 1, either with us or with another team, and who knows what happens in two, three, four years down the line. These guys are all so young. They’re between 20 and 22 years old — when Lewis joined Formula 1 — so all the future is bright for all of these young guys.
“It’s not about being free from Mercedes, because when you’re with another team you’re not racing for us anyway. There’s interest in the paddock to have him.”