F1 rising star’s last chance for 2019
The Williams Formula 1 team is working to sign the marooned Esteban Ocon for next season, if it can raise the necessary budget. Frenchman Ocon finds himself out in the cold after Racing Point Force India was axquired by a Lawrence Stroll-led syndicate that will most likely see young Lance Stroll signed at the team alongside Sergio Perez.
Williams has already signed Formula 2 championship leader George Russell, leaving the second Williams seat as fellow Mercedes protege Ocon’s last chance to stay in F1. Williams is known to be keen on Ocon, but the team has lost title sponsor Martini and rcently benefitted this running well-backed drivers Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin to secure its financial health, but the struggling team now sits last in the constructors' championship.
Signing Russell and Ocon remains an attractive proposition, but Williams cannot afford to bring in Ocon without the necessary funding and Williams hopes to raise the budget independently to allow it to also sign its second driver on merit.
"It was good to see that George is promoted,” Esteban Ocon admitted. "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."
Current driver Sergey Sirotki nand Williams reserve Robert Kubica are also vysing for the second seat