Ocon: Focus 'not easy' amid uncertainty over his Formula 1 future

Esteban Ocon admits it is 'not easy' to keep focus amid the fresh uncertainty about his Formula 1 future created by Daniel Ricciardo's shock switch to Renault

Ocon: Focus 'not easy' amid uncertainty over his Formula 1 future

Ocon looked set to join Renault in 2019 before the French car manufacturer pulled off a shock swoop for Ricciardo over F1's August break.

That decision has left Ocon facing a battle to find a competitive seat in F1 next year, with his best options being a move to McLaren or a slim chance of remaining at Force India.

Why Ocon is the silly season's biggest loser

After admitting he did not know what was going to happen for 2019, Ocon told reporters gathered in Belgium on Thursday that it was difficult not to get distracted by the situation.

"For sure, it is not easy," he said, when asked by Autosport about the challenge. "But that is what you need to do as a racing driver. You are here for the sport and you are here for performing, and not listening to all this."

Ocon's chances of remaining at Force India remain slim, with the team's new owner Lawrence Stroll set to move his son Lance to the outfit alongside Sergio Perez, potentially as early as later this season.

Ocon remains on McLaren's shortlist for 2019, if the outfit opts to replace Stoffel Vandoorne and decides not to promote reserve Lando Norris.

But although Ocon now faces an anxious wait to find out what he will be doing, he says he is not disheartened by the situation.

"I am not worried," he said. "Obviously, Mercedes and my management in Mercedes have been taking the right choices in the past years, and I am sure they will be able to do the same again."

There have been rumours in the Spa paddock that Ocon could even switch to McLaren as early as this season, to make way for Stroll at Force India, but he said he had heard nothing on that front.

"I don't know if I will move to McLaren, I don't know if I will be moving from here," Ocon said. "At the moment, these are just rumours and we will see.

"What is important is always to perform on track and as I always say, if you perform on track then an F1 team can't get rid of you if you perform.

"That is my target and I want to do the same as I have done in the first half of the season, trying to do the best I can. If I do that, I will have a seat next year."

Despite having been close to the Renault drive, Ocon said he was not too taken aback by its decision to sign Ricciardo.

"It was not a shock obviously," Ocon said. "We had possibilities there but in the end it has passed and we have to move forward.

"I wish Daniel and Renault all the best. Daniel is a good guy and I like him, so I wish them the best."

shares
comments
The biggest loser from F1's explosive silly season

Previous article

The biggest loser from F1's explosive silly season

Next article

Daniel Ricciardo explains timeline for Red Bull split for F1 2019

Daniel Ricciardo explains timeline for Red Bull split for F1 2019
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Esteban Ocon
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021