Esteban Ocon’s ‘seat predicament’ was one of the saddest stories of the 2018 season. The highly talented Force India(now Racing Point) driver saw himself without a seat for the 2019 season, as money became a major factor in determining seats, especially in the midfield teams.
Force India being forced into administration mid way through the season, caused a lot of chaos in the driver market, especially when Lawrence Stroll came into the fore as the rescuer of Force India.
A Lawrence Stroll led consortium brought Force India out of administration, and paved way for Lance Stroll to leave Williams and join Force India.
Perez got his contract renewed and Ocon’s Mercedes links proved to be a massive hindrance in any of the other midfield teams trying to secure his signature.
Ocon was gunning for that Williams seat, but Williams wanted Mercedes to cough up a large sum of money to help Ocon land the seat, something that was not considered feasible by Mercedes.
Ocon was thus forced to give up his 2019 seat and join Mercedes as the reserve driver, mounting pressure on Bottas.
Now, in an interview in the build up to the 2019 season, Ocon has said that he would quite F1 in 2020, if he doesn’t find a seat next year.
“I want to be world champion one day. It’s my goal and my dream,” Ocon said as quoted by Auto Hebdo.
“Of course it’s not great not to compete this season, but I’m still focused on F1 and I think it’s the right choice.
“After, if I do not find a drive for 2020, then it will turn to something because I have to continue working and find the track in the race.” he added.
Ocon’s presence in the garage could impose a lot of pressure on the under-performing Bottas, who will want to wipe the slate clean and start on the front foot in 2019.
If the situation arises, Ocon might have to step in for Bottas late on in the season, if such a decision is taken by the Mercedes management.
“I will be present at all the Grands Prix,”You never know what the future holds in F1.” he said.
“I must stay on the page and informed of everything that happens in case I have to return at one time or another.
“You never know what the future holds in F1.” he added.
Do you think Ocon deserves that Mercedes seat more than Bottas?