Toto Wolff has said today that they are considering dropping Ocon from their junior programme and it is currently 'detrimental to his development' - I'm assuming he means that if he's not a Merc junior other seats might become avaliable to him.
To be honest though with no funding and no Merc backing I'm not sure his chances would improve any. He'd need money for the Williams seat and Ocon and Verstappen have hated each other since F3 so I doubt they'll bring him into the Red Bull set up. I guess that leaves the Haas seat avaliable but it's pretty late to start that negotiation.
Yes i worry for ocon, for the reasons you state in this current state of F1. He wouldn't be the 1st really talented driver to hit a glass ceiling in recent yrs, usually end up in Formula E likes of Bird, Rowland, Rosenquist, Dillmann
because majority of the grid are struggling for money so are more bothered by the size of backing than the size of the talent
Maybe Mercedes should have been bold enough to drop Bottas which would have been the solution to get themselves out of this conundrum. They've got 3 young drivers to sort out an F1 career
- one no one wants because he is a wherever he has been -Wehrlein despite being billed as Germany's new hope
,-one who everyone likes and has been approached in the past but Mercedes said no - Ocon and now finds himself out of a seat
- one who is ready to step up and has done everything asked of him in Russell
Ocon - it depends how much Mercedes want to assist Force India to get him that seat over Perez who will announce soon where he goes
- If Haas is an option that is a a surprise but alongside Magnussen there will be fireworks
Toto has suggested running 3rd cars but seriously only the front 3 teams and maybe Mclaren or Renault would run them and there is always an issue that one of your drivers become the mobile chicane
Just a thought. Ocon never raced F2. If he misses out on a seat would it be wise to step down a formula and walk it to the title? At least he'd be right there in the pit lane in front of the team bosses every week.
F2 is more about talent than cars. Look at ART russell leading championship but teammate aitken is 150pts behind. Its unrealistic but possible grosjean did it after 2009 & better than 12months sabbatical
Red Bull will probably have Dan Ticktum in 2020 in one of the cars so interesting to see who is the stop gap
Now no one has said what if Ocon severs his ties with Mercedes. The only other seat he has been mentioned with is Haas again would Ferrari be happy although Gene Haas has stated they are not pressured to place Ferrari backed drivers
Sorry jumped a season early which brings back to what Toto said that Ocon maybe released to help find an F1 drive, now would Renault belatedly think of putting him as 3rd driver with a contract for 2020 ?
They've twice tried to sign him already so why not do what Alonso did back in 2002 sit out the season but had a contract with Renault for 2003?
In that case drive for Nissan Dams team in Formula E then for 18-19 ??
You have reminded me that the only one driver who competed in F1 had gone back to F2(GP2) to win the championship but it did not help securing a future F1 career.
Giorgio Pantano drove for Jordan in 2004 BUT he did not complete the season because he could not bring in anymore money well to be fair he bought in quite a bit so to fund Heidfeld's wages. He won GP2 in 2008 but could not get a drive and had nowhere to go .
Ocon - two teams he could drive for with French connections in F2 - ART who he drove for DTM for Merc in 2016 to get him ready for F1 or DAMS who will be switching from Renault to Nissan in Formula E.
The risk Ocon takes is both are championship teams so anything less than taking the title might affect his credibility