After weeeks and weeks of speculations about his future, Esteban Ocon can say he is back in business right after the summer break!
The French Man just announced he will drive for Renault next year, replacing Nico Hulkenberg.
The fans speculations about hints coming from his social media were right. After one year as Mercedes third driver, Ocon signs a multi - year agreement with the French manufacturer, where he will partner Daniel Ricciardo.
"We are very happy to work with Esteban for the next two seasons. Over his F1 career Esteban has experienced the highs and lows of the sport, and fully understood the need to seize every possible chance. In addition to lending his natural talent, Esteban’s aim will be to focus his natural energy and drive, both of which have been intensified by a year away from racing. It is then up to us to infuse them into the next phase of the team’s progress." Said Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Team Principal.
"He has shown his ability to score points, has great professionalism on and off the track, plus his recent experience as reserve driver to the current world champions will be a valuable asset to the development of our entire team."
Ocon comes back, then, to the team, as he already has been Renault reserve driver in 2016, before moving to Manor Racing and Sahara Force India.
"First and foremost, I am very proud to become a Renault driver. I have grown up at Enstone, starting with Lotus in 2010 and then with Renault. I am very attached to this team and everyone who works there; they are the ones who opened the doors of top level motorsport for me. Secondly, I am pleased that a team with big ambitions has entrusted me with the opportunity to once again demonstrate my skills at the highest level of F1. It is a responsibility I take very seriously. The confidence they have in me to help the progression of the team is a very positive pressure and I look forward to giving the best of myself."
Esteban Ocon officially comes back to the grid, and if one comes, the other one goes: Nico Hulkenberg is temporarily out of the grid for the 2020 season.
"I wish to thank Nico for his phenomenal involvement and massive contribution to our progress over the past three seasons." Added the French Team Principal. "When Nico decided to join us, the team was ninth. He brought us to fourth place last year, and was classified seventh in the drivers’ championship. The imminent end of his contract made this decision a difficult one as Nico has been a pillar of this progress. The first part of this season has been more challenging, but I know we can count on him and deliver together throughout the second half of the year."
The German driver already reacted to the news on his social media channels, announcing there's no deal ready yet for next season.
"It's a pity that the journey with Renault will end after the season, especially as we haven't been able to reach our goals yet. We had hoped to take another step forward this season, but unfortunately we haven't managed that so far. It is well known that the choice of drivers is not only about performance, it is a whole bundle of factors. But that's the way it is. Surely we would all have liked to see it differently.. but nevertheless, I'll keep my focus and try to reach the maximum success for our team in the remaining races!"
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It's a pity that the journey with Renault will end after the season, especially as we haven't been able to reach our goals yet. We had hoped to take another step forward this season, but unfortunately we haven't managed that so far. It is well known that the choice of drivers is not only about performance, it is a whole bundle of factors. But that's the way it is. Surely we would all have liked to see it differently.. but nevertheless, I'll keep my focus and try to reach the maximum success for our team in the remaining races! With regard to 2020, I am confident to find a good solution, but there is nothing to announce at the moment. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🇩🇪 Es ist schade, dass die gemeinsame Reise mit Renault nach der Saison enden wird, gerade weil man die gesteckten Ziele bis dato noch nicht erreichen konnte. Wir hatten gehofft, diese Saison einen weiteren Schritt nach vorne zu machen, was aber bislang leider nicht gelang. Da es bei der Fahrerwahl bekanntermaßen nicht allein auf die Performance ankommt, sondern ein ganzes Bündel an Faktoren berücksichtigt werden, ist die Gesamtsituation jetzt so wie sie ist. Sicherlich hätten wir uns das alle gerne anders vorgestellt. Nichtsdestotrotz gilt es jetzt für mich, in den verbleibenden Rennen den maximal möglichen Erfolg für das Team herauszuholen! In Hinblick auf 2020 bin ich persönlich entspannt. Es gibt aber derzeit noch nichts Finales zu berichten. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📸 @kymillman
The only chances to find a seat a stay in the Formula 1 Paddock for Nico can be found in the Haas Garage. Will the German partner his long time enemy Kevin Magnussen? We will see, as the Silly Season has just started.