Ocon has Toro Rosso drive… but with a catch

Speaking at the weekend, Red Bull racing consultant Helmut Marko, appeared to offer a lifeline to Esteban Ocon who currently looks to be without an F1 drive in 2019.

“If he’s free from all contracts, we could discuss it,” the Austrian told Sky F1, when asked if there might be a seat at Toro Rosso.

“I mean, all contracts,” he added. “We have a seat, Mercedes doesn’t have a seat.”

Ocon, who has previously tested with Lotus F1, Force India and Ferrari, joined the Mercedes junior programme in early 2016, making his F1 race debut with Manor in Belgium later that same year when he replaced Rio Haryanto.

ater that year, the youngster was confirmed as a Force India driver for 2017.

Having spent much of his early career racing Renaults, the youngster was widely expected to move to the French team for 2019, then came Daniel Ricciardo‘s shock announcement.

With Lance Stroll set to partner Sergio Perez at Racing Point Force India in 2019, other than breaking ties with Mercedes as Marko suggests, Ocon’s only other F1 option would appear to be Williams, currently on target to finish last in the 2018 team standings.

Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, in a clear bid to free the way for Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes announced that it had parted ways with the German youngster.

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