Mercedes to Look After My F1 Contract Talks With Alpine: Esteban Ocon

Published 05/31/2021, 5:54 PM EDT
MONTREAL, QUEBEC – JUNE 07: Esteban Ocon of France and Mercedes GP looks on in the garage during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 07, 2019 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)


Esteban Ocon has had a wonderful start to the 2021 season. Scoring points in four out of his five races, he has comprehensively outperformed his more-heralded F1 teammate, Fernando Alonso. Hence, one must feel that he deserves to stay at Alpine next season. But does it worry the Mercedes graduate that his team could look for other drivers from the grid to replace him?

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“At the moment I’m just focusing on doing the job I have to do on the track, which is to perform in the car, extracting the maximum out of it, thinking what we can do to improve things. As long as I’m doing that well, hopefully, things will go well for me. So we will see,” he said.

He added, “For the moment I’m focusing on the track more than anything else. And I let my management side do the job on [the contract].”

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Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 7, 2021 Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in action during practice REUTERS/Albert Gea

His management affairs are, of course, still looked at by Mercedes. He is a graduate of their driver academy after signing for them as a junior hopeful in 2016. It was the German manufacturers who helped him land a gig with engine customers, Sahara Force India, in 2017.

Even after the team dropped him at the end of the 2018 season, Mercedes cushioned his fall. They appointed him their reserve driver for the 2019 campaign. He was consistently linked to partner Lewis Hamilton in 2020. But after they retained Bottas, he took his talents to Renault. Though despite being with a rival manufacturer, his financial affairs are still overseen by Toto Wolff and Mercedes.

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Is a Mercedes return in 2022 a possibility for Esteban Ocon?

No driver on the grid would reject an opportunity to drive for a top team like Mercedes. But the question is – Do they have a vacant seat to give him?

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SUZUKA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 11: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Esteban Ocon of France and Mercedes GP talk in the Paddock after practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on October 11, 2019 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Despite his results this season, it’s unlikely for the Silver Arrows to haul him back. Even if Bottas were to be replaced, George Russell would be the prime candidate to take over. And if Hamilton were to retire, it is likely that they retain Bottas to play the team role, more effectively.

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But F1 is full of surprises, so one can never say never.

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Bharat Aggarwal

753 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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