Former Mercedes reserve driver Esteban Ocon says he is “sure” he will “see” Mercedes again, even after he signed with Renault.
Ocon, who found himself without a Formula 1 seat in 2019 will return to the grid in 2020 with Renault. This essentially means he has cut his ties with the Mercedes team, a team that had him in their driver development programme since 2015. There is a caveat though, he is still being managed by Mercedes, albeit a different division.
However, in 2019 Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said that their choice for Lewis Hamilton’s 2020 team-mate was between Ocon and Valtteri Bottas, who ultimately got the seat. The French driver was asked how close he was to partnering Hamilton.
“Very close,” said Ocon.
“And until the last moment there were discussions. But that’s done now and I have to look ahead and what I have in front of me.
“I don’t think I am going to go into details. Maybe if you ask Toto. I think it was only him taking the decision, but I think he can explain it better.
“He explained it to me also, but his main reason is that of course I am still young and I have time.
“I’m still managed by Mercedes, which is different to the actual team. But the future is long in Formula One and I’m sure we will see each other again.
“We are not that far away from each other [in the paddock] anyway!”