Ocon's future up to himself, Alpine before Mercedes input - Wolff

Toto Wolff says it will be up to Esteban Ocon and Alpine to decide on their Formula 1 future together before Mercedes has any input on his plans for 2022.

Ocon's future up to himself, Alpine before Mercedes input - Wolff

Ocon moved into F1 as a Mercedes young driver in 2016, and spent 2019 serving as its reserve driver before making a full-time return last year with Renault's works squad.

Ocon signed a two-year deal with Renault - since rebranded as Alpine - and has led its efforts so far in 2021, qualifying fifth for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

Mercedes is set to decide later in the year on its 2022 driver line-up, with incumbent drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both out of contract. Mercedes junior George Russell will also be a free agent upon the end of his current Williams deal.

Mercedes team boss Wolff was initially coy when asked if Ocon could be an option for 2022, having previously been considered for a seat in 2020.

"Esteban is also one of the drivers that is connected to us, whilst being a full fledged Renault or Alpine driver, Wolff said.

"We have a very good relationship with Alpine. So obviously Valtteri is the driver today, and Lewis is the driver today, and what will be next year, will be next year."

Read Also:

But when asked to expand on how seriously he came into consideration for 2022, Wolff said that it was up to Ocon and Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi to decide on their future before Mercedes would become involved.

"It's a little bit of a weird situation, because he's been a Mercedes junior for a long time, and he's an Alpine works driver now," Wolff said.

"That's fact. I think the situation is good for him there. He's growing, he's putting in the performances. He's French. All that is very much the stars aligning.

"I think it needs to be Laurent and Esteban's call first, how to continue, before we start to give an opinion."

Ocon has outqualified teammate Fernando Alonso in all of the past three races, and finished seventh last weekend in Portugal, marking Alpine's best result of the season so far.

Wolff said he had been "impressed" by Ocon this year, but the French driver said his focus was on the current job at Alpine when asked if he was thinking about a Mercedes seat in 2022.

"What I'm focusing on is to do a good job here, at Alpine," Ocon said. "I think we have to be glad with our progress, and I'm glad with the progress I've made as well this year.

"I'm focusing on delivering the best I can each single race, so you know, for sure if you perform, there will be always talks and things going on.

"But my aim is to deliver for the team that I'm racing at, and my home is here at the moment."

shares
comments

Related video

Wolff: Red Bull poaching could be good for Mercedes
Previous article

Wolff: Red Bull poaching could be good for Mercedes

Next article

Sainz: Ferrari still worried about tyre degradation in Spain

Sainz: Ferrari still worried about tyre degradation in Spain
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021