Esteban Ocon gets 2019 Mercedes F1 reserve driver role

Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff has confirmed Esteban Ocon will be the works team's Formula 1 reserve in 2019 rather than racing

Esteban Ocon gets 2019 Mercedes F1 reserve driver role

Ocon has lost his Racing Point Force India seat to Lance Stroll as part of the changes triggered by Stroll's father Lawrence leading the consortium that rescued the team.

Efforts by long-time backer Mercedes to place Ocon at other F1 teams including Renault, McLaren and Williams all failed, with Williams's announcement of Robert Kubica as its second 2019 driver on Thursday closing the final door.

As hopes of a seat elsewhere faded, Mercedes indicated it would find a non-racing role for Ocon with its main team and Wolff offered further details in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

"The plans are pretty clear," said Wolff. "He is going to be pretty close to the Mercedes team - he will be our reserve driver and third driver.

"We hope to do the odd test with him, we are looking at pre-season and in-season but it's not sorted out yet.

"He will do a lot of time in the simulator to make sure that he is ready."

Valtteri Bottas's current Mercedes contract only covers 2019, meaning Ocon could have the chance to become Lewis Hamilton's team-mate in 2020.

He said on Thursday Mercedes had given him "no assurances" about 2020 but that "hopefully" a year out of racing would pay off with a good chance for the following season.

"Definitely I will be around in the F1 paddock and trying to get as much mileage as possible in a Formula 1 car next year," said Ocon.

"Me and Mercedes, we see great opportunities for me to come back in 2020 so hopefully that will be the case and hopefully I will be back even stronger than I am now."

Ocon said this summer that he was sure it was only "a matter of time" before he was racing for Mercedes' main F1 team.

shares
comments
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice: Max Verstappen tops Red Bull one-two

Previous article

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice: Max Verstappen tops Red Bull one-two

Next article

Fernando Alonso could test 2019 McLaren F1 car, says Zak Brown

Fernando Alonso could test 2019 McLaren F1 car, says Zak Brown
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Esteban Ocon
Teams Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
What Ferrari must do to reach the peak in F1 again Plus

What Ferrari must do to reach the peak in F1 again

Former Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren engineer Rodi Basso on what he’s learned about successful teams, and what the famous Italian squad needs to do to get back on top in Formula 1

The defining traits that set F1’s best apart Plus

The defining traits that set F1’s best apart

What makes the very best drivers in Formula 1 stand out among what is already a highly elite bunch? ANDREW BENSON takes a closer look at those with the special blend of skill, judgment, feel 
and attitude that sets only a select 
few apart from the rest.

Formula 1
Mar 7, 2021
How an unlikely F1 outsider gained acceptance Plus

How an unlikely F1 outsider gained acceptance

Channel 4's decision to pick Steve Jones as presenter of its Formula 1 coverage in 2016 raised eyebrows, and his presenting style grated with many fans at first. But, says BEN EDWARDS, Jones has developed into a presenter ripe for modern F1's direction

Formula 1
Mar 6, 2021
The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return Plus

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return

After producing a car which demonstrated progress but lacked the points to prove it last year, Williams starts its new era of team ownership with the FW43B, its bid to continue the climb up the Formula 1 grid in 2021

Formula 1
Mar 5, 2021
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Plus

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Formula 1
Mar 4, 2021
Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Plus

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Plus

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021