Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has lashed out at his fellow F1 team bosses. He accused them of getting in the way of young drivers’ futures. The Mercedes chief is astounded that other bosses have not supported his quest to find seats in 2019 for the likes of Esteban Ocon, George Russell and Pascal Wehrlein.
Recently, Wehrlein left Mercedes’ young driver programme altogether and is now a free agent. Wolff has admitted that he regrets letting the young German driver slip away.
“We could not offer Pascal a competitive car for next year. Acting in his interests, we have together decided not to renew the contract,” Wolff said.
But, according to him, it was the goings-on in F1 negotiations in July and August that left him particularly aghast.
“It was just unbelievable. There was so much politics in the background, hidden agendas and lies,” said Wolff.
He said talented Frenchman “Ocon” will probably leave F1 at the end of the year “because people simply don’t have the balls to stick to what they say”.
“If some guys feel this way, compromising their performance and not taking the best drivers, it is their problem but eventually talent will shine through.”
Wolff vowed: “One day he will win races and championships in a Mercedes.”
As of now, Ocon is racing for Racing Point Force India and preparing for Sunday’s race. The young Frenchman has qualified 9th, behind teammate Sergio Perez. While Perez is not contracted for 2019 either, he believes that a renewal is inbound.
When Force India had its financial problems earlier this year, many doubts were cast on the future of both drivers.
Perez gave strong hints that notwithstanding the takeover by a Lawrence Stroll-led consortium, he intends to stay in 2019.
“If Force India is in good hands, then I would like to stay.
It’s still the best team behind the big three. I used to wait forever for a decision from Ferrari, but this year I’m not so I hope the decision is sooner,” Perez added.
So, with Lance Stroll expected to join the outfit, the race is on to see who will partner him