Ocon holds no grudge with Renault after retracting on 2019 deal

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Esteban Ocon insists he has no hard feeling towards Renault, who retracted an in initial agreement to sign him for 2019.

The Frenchman had to spend this season on the sidelines following the team's decision to sign Daniel Ricciardo and after he lost his place at Racing Point.

However, now he will return for 2020 at Renault alongside the Australian and insists he still enjoys a strong relationship with team boss Cyril Abiteboul.

“Not at all. I think on my side the page is turned and now I have a great challenge ahead of me to be racing for the team for two years at least, and that’s the only thing I see,” he said on whether there was any initial awkwardness.

“I only look forward. there is no weird relationship between me and Cyril, we are on the phone a lot of times recently, and there is no problem at all to be honest.”

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is believed to have leaned on Renault's decision to go back on their word last year to get Ocon the seat for 2020 and insists he had no concerns about doing so.

“For the benefit of the platform, we have a responsibility towards the OEMs we represent, towards the teams we represent and towards Formula 1," he said.

“Sometimes objectives will diverge, they will not be the same, and you have to try and put yourself in the shoes of the other one and say why are they doing that.

After a while when things go against you, you can see the other perspective, even if you disagree.

So even if we were upset last year we find ourselves 13 months later with a top solution for Esteban, so it’s important to keep that long-term vision in your relationships.”

Abiteboul himself then defended his decision to choose Ricciardo last year but noted it is that same reason which has now led to Renault taking Ocon back.


"You know when you have to make a tough decision on the driver, you’re not just looking at the man and his pace, you’re looking at the whole dynamic,” he explained.

“You’re looking at what’s best at a given moment in the life of a guy, of a young man, and in the life of a team, that can be young. This whole dynamic and energy, you need to analyse.

"It was important to seize that opportunity of taking an accomplished driver in Daniel last year, right now we think it’s the right moment for some fresher blood to be honest and I think it’s a trend you can see in the whole team.”