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Mercedes' Ocon will be a busy man in 2019

George Howson
ANALYST
Feature
103   //    10 Jan 2019, 18:47 IST

Esteban Ocon may not be racing in F1 in 2019, but he is looking at a busy year.
Esteban Ocon may not be racing in F1 in 2019, but he is looking at a busy year.

Esteban Ocon had a good year in 2018, but not good enough for the Frenchman to remain on the Formula 1 grid for 2019.

A lack of monetary backing and his Mercedes ties meant that teams were either financially unable or too afraid to sign the youngster, despite his consistent and mature performances throughout the season.

Lawrence Stroll's - Lance's father - takeover of Force India was the major reason for Ocon's exit from the team, as Stroll was always going to be signed and Sergio Perez's Carlos Slim connections are too substantial to ignore.

He's not out of the sport completely, though, far from it, as Ocon remains a part of the Mercedes development programme and stays on with the reigning constructor's champions as a test driver.

Despite likely not having to compete in F1's 21-race calendar this year, Ocon will have a busy 2019, as he will be in the paddock for all of these Grand Prix's.

There's even a chance that if Valtteri Bottas or Lewis Hamilton were unavailable for a race, Ocon would step up and be the Silver Arrows' super sub for that weekend:

"I will be at all the Grands Prix and informed about everything in case I have to return at one point or another," he explained, before stating "You never know what will happen in F1."

In addition to being at the races themselves, Ocon will also be carrying out plenty of simulator work and will no doubt get some on-track experience in the Mercedes W10 during testing sessions, both pre-season and in-season.

At just 22-years-of-age, Ocon has plenty of time on his hands to force his way back into a racing seat, with Toto Wolff suggesting that the Evreux native is in line for a full-time drive if Bottas has another poor season.

Do you think Ocon will be back on the F1 grid in 2020? Let us know in the comments below!

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George Howson
ANALYST
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