Formula 1

‘Not Easy’ to Remain Focused due to Uncertainty over F1 Future – Ocon

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Esteban Ocon - Sahara Force India F1 Team - Hungaroring
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Uncertainly lingers over Esteban Ocon’s future at the newly-relaunched Racing Point Force India F1 Team, with the Frenchman being linked with a departure from the team, possibly as soon as next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

The Lawrence Stroll-led consortium appear to be wanting to bring current Williams Martini Racing driver Lance Stroll to Force India sooner rather than later, and it appears it is Ocon who will lose out on the drive as team-mate Sergio Pérez edges closer to a contract extension.

However, Ocon says his focus remains on doing the best job he can behind the wheel this weekend at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, although he says it is easy to be distracted by what is going on at Force India.

“For sure, it is not easy,” said Ocon to Motorsport.com. “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 looks increasingly likely to leave Force India, either at the end of the season or before, with one of his possible destinations being the McLaren F1 Team alongside the recently-confirmed Carlos Sainz Jr., but the Frenchman remains positive that Mercedes-Benz will continue to guide him along his career path and place him somewhere that will be beneficial to his career.

“I am not worried,” said the Frenchman. “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.

“I don’t know if I will move to McLaren, I don’t know if I will be moving from here.  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.”

Ocon had been linked to a possible move to the Renault Sport Formula One Team for 2019 but that option disappeared when Daniel Ricciardo made his shock move away from Aston Martin Red Bull Racing to sign for the Enstone-based outfit, but he admits he has to move on from that disappointment.

“It was not a shock obviously,” said Ocon. “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.”

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