Mercedes F1 team can't recall Esteban Ocon from Renault before 2022

Mercedes will have no right to recall Esteban Ocon from the Renault Formula 1 team before 2022, despite continuing to manage him during his contract with it

Mercedes F1 team can't recall Esteban Ocon from Renault before 2022

Ocon, who is currently a Mercedes reserve, has just signed a two-year deal to join Renault as Daniel Ricciardo's team-mate from 2020.

But while Ocon's career will still be managed by Mercedes, Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul said the driver will be fully under his control from next year.

"He is a Renault driver," said Abiteboul. "That is very clear. Mercedes will have absolutely no right on him for the duration of his contract.

"The small difference is that his management company happen to be a racing team and that is Mercedes.

"But it is a slightly different set-up from the set-up that we had with Carlos [Sainz Jr] last year. That was on a loan and not a contract with Red Bull, but he [Ocon] will be a fully fledged Renault driver."

While outgoing Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg suggested that Ocon's French nationality was a factor in the team's driver decision, Abiteboul did not agree.

"On the nationality I would not put much down to that," he explained.

"It is a plus. It is a bonus, but it is not an element into the decision because saying it is related to the decision is saying we have a sort of change of factors or parameters when we evaluated Esteban.

"That would not be fair for Esteban, just as it would not be fair to Nico nor Renault's management."

Renault advisor Alain Prost also explained that while the team was happy to have a French driver, that was not the determining factor in taking Ocon.

"To be clear, of course the fact that he is French is a plus, but it is not the determining criterion, otherwise it would not be very logical," he told Canal Plus.

"There were discussions with Nico, someone we really appreciate, but he wanted a two-year contract, we wanted one year plus an option.

"Without going into detail, he is someone who has done an extraordinary job for the team, but of course after three years he realises, and he is right, that we are not progressing very quickly on the chassis.

"I think we needed someone to look a little further into the long term, with freshness and enthusiasm.

"He has that of course, but things are going to happen a little bit, we're going to have to change the team a little bit too, so it's more to look to the future.

"Esteban, with his Mercedes experience, age and youth, will bring us some of the dynamism we need in the team today."


shares
comments
F1 wants to delay prospective new teams from entering until 2022

Previous article

F1 wants to delay prospective new teams from entering until 2022

Next article

F1 teams agree MGU-K allocation-limit increase with 2020's 22 races

F1 teams agree MGU-K allocation-limit increase with 2020's 22 races
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021