Esteban Ocon is now hopeful he will be back on the Formula 1 grid next year after sitting on Mercedes’ reserve bench in 2019, the ousted Force India driver has been linked with Valtteri Bottas’ place for next season.
But the rumour mill is also suggesting that Renault, Haas or Williams could be options for the 22-year-old.
“There are discussions going on with many different teams,” Ocon admitted in an interview with Top Gear. “At the moment it’s only talks, and I’ve learned that until the contract is signed, the seat is never for sure.”
“But there will be opportunities, and we’ll have to work to see what will be possible next year, but at the moment it’s going the right way,” he added.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said in recent weeks that he would be happy to see Ocon return to racing next year, even if it is not with the German team.
“This is fantastic,” said Ocon. “It means Toto and my team are fully supporting me and want me back in a car no matter how. When I hear that, it’s very special to me. They really believe in me.”
As for whether he would accept a step back into a less competitive cockpit, Ocon replied: “I need to be back in Formula 1, so we’ll see. But it’s my target to be in a competitive car.”
Big Question: What F1 team for Esteban in 2020?