Toto Wolff: Esteban Ocon 'guaranteed' good 2020 seat

Ruben Hill
October 23, 2018

Williams needs to make up their mind who they think is the best driver for their team, and it's not only Esteban, there's Robert [Kubica] in the frame, and then others, and all of them deserve the chance.

Sergey Sirotkin says his Williams Martini Racing team should be happy with their starting positions for the 2018 Pirelli United States Grand Prix, despite failing to place a auto in Q2 for the eleventh time this season.

Circumstances linked to the takeover of Force India by a consortium of investors led by Lawrence Stroll have left Ocon - one of the sport's brightest talents - out in the cold for 2019.

"We will try to facilitate [things] where we can but there's nothing I could say "this is going to help him into the car".

"There were no factors around financial considerations with Mercedes on making the decision".

However, after signing Russell Williams can not afford to bring in Ocon without securing the necessary funding.

"George has come up through the Mercedes young driver programme but that was not a factor in our decision-making", Williams said at the U.S. Grand Prix when asked whether the team might get a discount on the engines.

Despite that, she said Williams should have a similar budget next year to 2018 and the main consideration for the second seat had to be talent.

"It was good to see that George is promoted", he said.

"There's still a second seat at Williams, there's still talks, so we'll see where that goes".

"He was not at all stealing my spot, that was not the way it happened".

Esteban Ocon and Sergey Sirotkin are also candidates for the role and the deputy team principal says Williams are keeping their options open.

Sirotkin is vying to remain in F1 but that depends on whether the team is happy to continue with the rookie and on his backer SMP Racing being willing to risk funding another year with a back-of-the-grid vehicle.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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