Formula 1

Pérez on Ocon: ‘Risky Move’ for ‘One of the Best Drivers’ to Sit out 2019 Season

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Esteban Ocon - Racing Point Force India F1 Team - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Sergio Pérez says the year away from Formula 1 that his former team-mate Esteban Ocon faces can hurt him more than it can benefit him, although he does acknowledge he has something good going with his alliance with Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport.

Pérez and Ocon often had a difficult relationship during their time with Sahara Force India F1 Team/Racing Point Force India F1 Team across the 2017 and 2018 seasons, with the two clashing on track on occasions that cost the Silverstone-based outfit some decent haul of points.

Whilst Pérez remains on board with Racing Point for 2019, Ocon has been displaced by Canadian Lance Stroll, which was on the cards as soon as Stroll’s father Lawrence Stroll led a consortium to buy out the team mid-way through the 2018 campaign.

The Mexican believes Ocon is one of the best drivers in the sport, but with the Frenchman sitting out the 2019 season after being unable to secure a drive, mainly due to his links with Mercedes, Pérez feels the absence could harm him when it comes to his future and any potential Formula 1 return.

“It definitely can hurt him more than it can benefit him,” said Pérez to Motorsport.com.  “Formula 1 is evolving so much year by year. You never know what the future will hold.

“He is in a great position with Mercedes. He definitely deserves a seat in Formula 1, he is one of the best drivers in this sport.

“But I think a year out of this can change so much. Maybe he comes back and drives for Mercedes, but you never know what the future will hold.  So, it is a risky move.”

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