Villeneuve on Ocon replacing Bottas: 'Why would you do that?'

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Jacques Villeneuve believes Mercedes would be wrong to replace Valtteri Bottas with Esteban Ocon next season.

As Formula 1 headed into the summer break, momentum was gathering in the Frenchman's favour to step up alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2020 following a year as reserve driver.

However, while Bottas has struggled to keep up with his teammate in the championship, the Canadian doesn't think he should be dropped.

"Why would you do that?" the 1997 world champion told Dutch outlet Formule 1. "Of course, Mercedes must continue with Bottas. How many times have they achieved P1 and P2 this season?

"Bottas is regularly faster than Hamilton, he scores his points. If he were to be half a second slower than Lewis in every race, like last year, then ok, you can replace him, but that's not the case."

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Villeneuve also claims it would be a big gamble for Mercedes to insert Ocon straight into their car as he has not raced at all in 2019 after being dropped by Racing Point.

"He hasn't proven himself yet," added the Canadian. "I don't know how good he is and I would never take that risk."

A move to Renault is thought to be Ocon's alternative for next year, while Bottas also says he has options elsewhere on the table.

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