Toto Wolff says Alpine and Esteban Ocon will need to clarify their future together before Mercedes enters any discussions with the Frenchman over 2022.
Ocon is in the final season of a two-year deal with Alpine, but the 24-year-old is also contracted to Mercedes for the longer term. As such, the Frenchman is seen as a potential candidate for a seat at the Brackley squad in 2022 along with fellow Mercedes protégé George Russell.
But before considering Ocon as an option for next year, Wolff wants clarity from Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi on its future plans involving its current driver.
“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 last weekend in Barcelona.
“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 enjoyed a strong start to his 2022 campaign . Save for the opening race in Bahrain, the Alpine charger has outqualified teammate Fernando Alonso on each occasion and finished every time in the top ten.
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Wolff admitted to being “impressed” by Ocon’s performance year-to-date. But the latter says he’s focused first and foremost on his current commitment to Alpine.
Read also: Alonso impressed by ‘hard working and professional’ Ocon
“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.”
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