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2018 F1

I was surprised when Renault signed a contract with Ricciardo – Ocon

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 Esteban Ocon has admitted Williams is his last shot at a F1 cockpit for 2019.

The Frenchman is disappointed not only that he is losing his Force India seat to Lance Stroll, but that options to switch to Renault or McLaren both vanished recently.

“It’s a bit strange how it turned out, because I had options with two big teams and most drivers can only dream of that. But we will find a solution,” Ocon, 22, told the French broadcaster TF1.

“Even if I have to miss next season, I am sure that I will return to formula one in 2020,” he said.

“I was surprised when Renault signed a contract with Daniel Ricciardo. Renault has explained that it was because I was in the Mercedes programme, but I do not agree with Cyril Abiteboul,” Ocon continued.

“Yes I’m a Mercedes driver, but if I was in a Renault that wouldn’t matter. I’m a little upset that as a sportsman, it’s not only your sporting achievements that matter.”

Like Renault, Red Bull has ruled out Ocon for Toro Rosso on the basis of his Mercedes links, while Haas is expected to keep both of its current drivers for 2019.

That just leaves Williams, but a better funded driver is more likely to be selected by the beleaguered British team.

Still, Williams is powered by Mercedes and has been closely linked to Toto Wolff.

“I don’t know whether I can go to Williams,” Ocon said. “We are negotiating and we hope that everything will work out.

“Not having a contract for next season is not a catastrophe but you never know how things will develop in formula one. What I can promise is that next year I will do my best to be back in the championship in 2020,” he added.

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