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Ocon rejecting non-F1 offers to 'stay close to Mercedes'

Written by  Nov 08, 2018

Esteban Ocon has revealed he is turning down offers to race outside of Formula 1 in 2019, believing a closer relationship with Mercedes is a better option.

The Frenchman is not expected to be on the grid next season as Lance Stroll will take his place at Force India and Williams struggle to find the sponsors which would allow them to take him on alongside George Russell.

It is believed teams both in IndyCar and Formula E have both shown interest in the 22-year-old, however, with his eyes still firmly fixed on F1, Ocon doesn't feel moving series would be of value.

"There have been talks that I could race in many different places and I won't go in details. But we are choosing not to do that," he told Motorsport.com on Thursday.

"If I don't race next year I will choose to stay close to Mercedes and try to learn as much as I can from them. Maybe do some testing here and there if possible, and work close to them. That is the only thing I can do to stay in shape, to stay around F1.

"I don't feel like I have the experience to gain if I go somewhere, which I have already done before."

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While Williams is his final option for a race seat in 2019, Ocon does admit he has little influence when it comes to trying to sway their decision.

"What I know is that it is not in my hands," he said. "It is not in my managements' hands either. It is for Williams to decide basically. We will see how things evolve.

"There are at the moment two races to go, so I am trying to focus on that and after that we will see what happens."

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