Esteban Ocon says it would ‘not be normal’ if his former team-mate Sergio Pérez is not on the Formula 1 grid in 2021, but sometimes things happen that are out of your control.
Pérez took his maiden Formula 1 victory in Sunday’s Sakhir Grand Prix, but the Mexican has already been told his services are not required by the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team for next season, with Sebastian Vettel being drafted into the team that will be rebadged as Aston Martin Racing.
Ocon himself has experienced what it is like to be out of Formula 1 after also being dropped by Racing Point at the end of the 2018 season in favour of Lance Stroll, with the Frenchman having sat out 2019 before returning to the sport this year with the Renault DP World F1 Team. His year away was spent being the reserve driver for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
Pérez and Ocon finished first and second at the Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday, and the Frenchman says it would be a travesty if the Mexican is not racing at the highest-level next year, although he says that it is possible to come back after a year away and be competitive.
“He’s one of the top guys out there and he can’t be left outside,” Ocon is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “It would not be normal. But sometimes the sport is like that, unfortunately, and you don’t end up in the best situations.
“On my side obviously it’s been a tough year but I was in good hands. I had a lot of people believing in me and supporting me, which has helped me to come back after a year out – and here we are. It is not easy to get going but after a bit of running, you get there.”