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Mercedes prepared to cut ties with Ocon

Mercedes prepared to cut ties with Ocon

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Mercedes prepared to cut ties with Ocon

Mercedes prepared to cut ties with Ocon

Toto Wolff says Esteban Ocon will be released from his Mercedes deal if he is to sign for another team in 2020.

Ocon has been left watching Formula 1 from the sidelines this year after ending up as the odd one out on a crazy driver merry go round last year.

The Frenchman had been set to join Renault, until a gentleman's agreement went out the window when the opportunity to sign Daniel Ricciardo arose.

Ocon's previous seat at Racing Point was filled by Lance Stroll and interest from McLaren and Red Bull, with an eye on Toro Rosso, fizzled out as Mercedes would not free him from his contract.

Wolff has regularly spoken of his confidence that Ocon will find a seat on the 2020 grid, and says he would be deserving of a return.

The Silver Arrows chief told Motorsport.com: "Everyone recognises Esteban's talent, and I truly believe he should have a permanent position in Formula 1 because he is one of the best talents of his generation.

"Unfortunately last year we were victims of a very particular market situation.

"We need to make things clear to allow him to pursue his career in a way that respects the investment and support that Mercedes have given him, obviously without closing open doors from those who showed interest in him."

Ocon has once again been linked with Renault, as Nico Hulkenberg's contract is in its final year, and Wolff suggested that his time with Mercedes could be near its end.

Wolff said: "If he is in another team he will be released regardless, he will no longer be a Mercedes driver because if you drive for another team you will be called to give the best for that team."

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