Formula 1

Wolff Blames ‘Politics, Hidden Agendas and Lies’ for Ocon’s 2019 Race Seat Quandary

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Esteban Ocon - Racing Point Force India F1 Team - Hockenheimring
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Toto Wolff says Esteban Ocon’s chances of securing a Formula 1 seat in 2019 have been lessened because of politics, hidden agendas and lies from other teams who did not ‘have the balls’ to honour what they had already agreed to.

Ocon looks likely to lose his drive with the Racing Point Force India F1 Team sooner rather than later as Lance Stroll continues to be linked with the seat following Lawrence Stroll’s acquisition of the squad, but there were two teams where the Frenchman had looked set to end up, only for the rug to be figuratively pulled from under him when it came to signing the contract.

Ultimately, neither a seat with the Renault Sport Formula One Team, nor McLaren F1 Team materialised for Ocon, and Wolff has now lambasted those who had firstly offered a contract to the Mercedes-Benz-protégé only to sign other drivers in his place.

“What’s been going on this year in July and August is just unbelievable,” said Wolff to Sky Sports F1. “There was so much politics in the background, hidden agendas, lies. 

“Not all the good kids are going to end up in cars and probably Esteban will be one of them.  In July he had two offers on the table with contracts and it was just a matter of choosing which was the right one.

“He ended up not having any anymore because people just simply don’t have the balls to stick to what they say.”

Despite the chances of Ocon remaining on the grid lessening almost by the day, Wolff says the Frenchman will not be following Pascal Wehrlein out of the Mercedes-Benz family, and he predicts that he will be one day part of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team, winning races and championships.

“Not in a million years,” Wolff said of the chances of Ocon leaving the Mercedes junior programme. “One day he’s going to be in a Mercedes and win races and championships and show all the others out there that they made a mistake.”

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