Ocon Comments On Possibility Of Replacing Hamilton: 'Clear That We Have Links With Mercedes'

F1
by Adam OndrikThursday, 08 February 2024 at 00:00
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Alpine's driver Esteban Ocon commented on the prospects of driving for Mercedes starting from the season 2025.
Lewis Hamilton's unexpected move from Mercedes to Ferrari changed everything in the 2024 driver market. The German team that thought it had its drivers sorted now has to look for replacements, and there are quite a few options.
One of these options is Esteban Ocon, who is currently racing for Alpine. But his contract lasts exactly until the end of the 2024 season, and what many people don't know is that he is a part of Mercedes's junior academy. Ocon told the media at yesterday's launch of Alpine's A524:

"It’s clear that we have links with Mercedes. I’m managed by Mercedes for a long time now, since 2015."

Even though he has been part of Mercedes's academy for a long time, the 27-year-old never got a chance to drive for Silver Arrows. The Frenchman recently stated he believes his time will come, and Hamilton leaving Mercedes might be exactly the right opportunity for him.

"I’m a junior, even if I’m not that junior anymore. But yeah, we’ll see what the future holds. As I said, at the moment, I’m completely dedicated to Alpine, what I have to do with the team, and the plan that we have ahead as well."

Ocon will race for Alpine during the 2024 season, so it makes sense to say he is completely dedicated to the team at the moment. But it's clear that the French driver isn't completely opposed to the idea of potentially driving for Mercedes in the future.
Nevertheless, the 27-year-old explained his focus now needs to be on his performances this season, as thinking about potential contracts can be distracting.

"And that’s the whole focus I need to have, because these things are very disruptive focus-wise and that’s why I have a very competitive management team that’s able to take the right choices on where we have to be, so I’m not worried and my focus is on the track."