Mercedes junior, Esteban Ocon, who currently drives for Force India, has been linked with a move to Renault next season. With the news of Force India starting court proceedings, those rumours have only intensified.
His parent team though do not have any problem in letting him go to the French outfit. The fact that he is a Frenchman himself will also help him adapt to the team better.
“We picked Esteban up when gravity fell apart. The first team he was actually associated with was Renault”, Wolff told the media today.
“If he has the opportunity somewhere else to be successful as a racing driver, at another team or another constructor, we wouldn’t want to stand in the way.”
The Mercedes boss also spoke fondly of another graduate of their academy, “We at the time had just started our junior programme and it felt right to put in Pascal [Wehrlein] and Esteban to give them a go.”
“Today we are trying to set them a path that will make them very successful long-term, to put them in a position to be world champions maybe one day.”
Force India COO, Otmar Szafnauer also backed his young recruit to make the switch, “We work well together, we had great discussions about Esteban when he came in. If it’s mutually beneficial, then of course that’s what we’re going to do. We won’t stand in his way.”
If he were to let go of Ocon, Szafnauer wanted Mercedes to help them find a replacement. “It’s fine for him to go but we’ve got to agree to that. And I’m sure Toto has persuasive tools if that’s what we all want to do. If it’s mutual.”
Force India’s future is yet unclear, but if they do remain in the grid, their best bet will be to get hold of Mercedes junior, George Russell. The young Brit has impressed in the junior categories and leads the F2 championship currently.