French driver Esteban Ocon will return to the Formula One grid in 2020 after a year away. The Mercedes junior driver was recruited into the Renault team, at the expense of Nico Hulkenberg. Recently, he sat down with ESPN in an interview, where he spoke about various subjects.
The Frenchman talked about his time on the sidelines in the Mercedes garage. He even opened up on the infamous collision between himself and Max Verstappen in 2018. He even admitted that he was looking forward to racing alongside Daniel Ricciardo at Renault. Finally, he revealed the hardships that he faced on his road to Formula One.
He confessed to ESPN that he did not miss his karting days. This was largely because he was forced to endure one of the toughest periods of his career and life.
Esteban Ocon disclosed that his parents made a lot of sacrifices and the onus was on him to perform or everything would have been in vain. The 23-year old admitted that he hated those times, even though it brought him to F1.
When asked whether the experience helped him prepare for the tougher phases in F1, more that other drivers, he clarified his stance. He said, “A lot of different drivers have their story, and that was my story. I’m sure other drivers who came here in a different way can also have interesting stories. I can’t just say I am better because I struggled to arrive here, I don’t think that would be right.”
It was also noteworthy that Esteban Ocon came close to a Mercedes seat alongside Lewis Hamilton. Eventually, the German giants elected to stick with the tried and tested pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
However, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff felt that it was too risky to pit Ocon’s career against an in-form Lewis Hamilton. So, the Frenchman was stuck in the bench-warmer role.