Renault boss, Cyril Abiteboul, has stated that the French team is only a part of the problem that Esteban Ocon is currently facing and that the actual picture is much bigger.
“I have never denied that we have a great interest in Esteban [Ocon] and in the future as well. But I believe Renault is only a small factor in Esteban’s current situation,” said Abiteboul.
Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, had earlier blasted his rivals for not going through with their commitment of signing Ocon, but Abiteboul said that he should look at himself before blaming others.
“I don’t want to respond to Toto’s words so the story continues endlessly,” he said. “Don’t forget about Mercedes and its own decision about its drivers. Don’t forget about the situation with Force India and the role Mercedes plays in that.”
“I don’t want to go into the details of our personal discussions but I can say that the contract was obviously not signed, otherwise Toto would have demanded that we honour it.”
“Perhaps it was the first time Toto had a problem in Formula 1,” he added.
Ocon had confidently stated that he would end up at Mercedes one day but that seems like a far stretch for now as the team retained the line-up of Hamilton and Bottas for next season. There is a fear that he may be a forgotten man if he leaves now.
Wolff also admitted that the team and Ocon were not on the same page currently and the relationship may follow the path like Wehrlein- it may end prematurely. The young Frenchman has been extremely impressive in a midfield car and everyone was looking forward to see him perform in a top car.
However, that seems like a far away dream currently as he confirmed a deal was being discussed with Williams, a team that has suffered a massive fall from grace over the years. It may yet keep him in F1, but may sap his motivation and affect his reputation.