Williams keen on signing Ocon for 2019

Published on 19 Oct 2018 10:02

Williams is looking at the possibility of signing Esteban Ocon for the 2019 season, but would need more financial backing from the French driver in order to complete the deal.

Ocon is likely to leave Force India at the end of the year as Lance Stroll looks set to join the Silverstone squad. The pink panthers confirmed on Thursday that Sergio Perez would occupy one of the seats next year, while Ocon's future remains up in the air.

Ocon had verbal contracts in place with Renault and McLaren prior to the summer break, however deals with both teams failed to produce anything solid. Williams remains his last chance for a seat in F1 next year, as Toro Rosso doesn't want to sign him due to his Mercedes links.

Martini will be leaving Williams as its title sponsor at the end of the 2018 season, and with that, a heavy chunk of finance. Williams would need to ensure that they would be safe on the money side while signing Ocon following a deal it set in place with George Russell.

It is believed that there were no commercial obligations between Mercedes and Williams when the Grove squad signed Mercedes junior Russell for the 2019 season. However, in doing so, Williams needs its second driver to bring significant funding.

"It was good to see that George is promoted," Ocon said on the build-up to the US Grand Prix. "He's also part of the Mercedes junior programme, and he's signed for multiple years, and that was not our intention to sign for that many years.

"There's still a second seat at Williams, there's still talks, so we'll see where that goes," he confirmed. "Congratulations to George. He's in a different way in his career than I am. He was not at all stealing my spot, that was not the way it happened."

Ocon faces competition for the seat from current driver Sergey Sirotkin and reserve driver Robert Kubica, who is believed to have secured additional funding in a bid for the race seat next year.

Replies (8)
US ajpennypacker 19 Oct 2018 10:36+1
Posts: 1499
I hope Kubica gets a chance. It's now or never for him. It would be a great story. If he doesn't perform, there will be plenty of drivers available. Solid talent too.
SE calle.itw 19 Oct 2018 12:470
Posts: 5864
Yeah, give him a go. Good for pr, and if it doesnt work, put another bloke in the car.
GB talktohenry 19 Oct 2018 11:14+1
Posts: 357
Get the cheque book out Toto as you said yourself he should have a seat - so time to back your man!
US mcbhargav 19 Oct 2018 17:240
Posts: 787
This is a test for the Mercedes junior program.
PL juju_hound 19 Oct 2018 12:50+1
Posts: 177
Currently in Poland there is quite big news about Prime Minister of Goverment who said while he was President of the board of Polish Santander back in 2007 he was happy Kubica had a crash and hurt his arm cause he didn't want to spend 10 MUSD for his Ferrari's drive.
The same day the record tapes were out with him saying that, Kubica had a meeting with him. Kubica is asking for support from Polish Petrol Company ORLEN. That's why he said "No hard feelings" about these words... but the 10MUSD back up is not 100% sure. But Orlen supports some other sporting categories on 4 wheels so there is a chancce to support Kuibica too.
US mcbhargav 19 Oct 2018 17:230
Posts: 787
Artem markelov for money. Russell for points. Sorry Ocon.
Posts: 990
If you go by history you are correct @MCBHARGAV. If Williams has had enough of average drivers they should go with Ocon that is if they can make it work financially. Can't see Kubica signing up with them.
Posts: 6
I wouldn't be so sure about Russels' performance anf points in his first season.

of course I am a fan of RK ... be honest... he is big question mark, but ...
let's think about PR too, potentially new sponsors... Markelov... may be like with Mazepin: promises, promises and Putin's jail ;)
About Ocon... good driver but signing him will make Williams Merc junior team. Is it their dream? Besides gossip says he want to be paid, not to pay.
Perez would be great move for WMR, but he's been already confirmed by " pinky pies".

For me: Sir or Kub. Or maybe papa Stroll won't sign Lance? ;)

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