Ocon confident of returning to F1 as a complete driver
Esteban Ocon says he will return to Formula 1 as a "more complete driver" as a result of his year spent in reserve for Mercedes.
A recent report in AutoBild suggested that Ocon will be back on the grid in 2020 with Renault, with Mercedes set to keep faith with Valtteri Bottas for a fourth year in succession.
Renault pulling out of a deal for Ocon this time last year led to the Frenchman being pushed to the fringes of the sport.
Ocon admits that his determination to attend race weekends, as well as assist Mercedes in their simulator in the UK, has cost him several hours of sleep, but he believes it will be worth it.
"I insisted I wanted to be at the track," he told Formula 1s official website. "I don't want to be working at the sim and not come over.
"The guys said yeah, it's going to be hard. I said yeah I agree but that's the way I want to do it. Even if I don't sleep, I want to be at the track.
"It's hard. It's definitely hard. But it's alright. There's much worse in life."
Ocon added: "I'm working hard on next year. I'm also learning so much at Mercedes. When I come back, I'll be a much more complete driver."
With a decision on Ocon's future potentially imminent, it would end a long spell of uncertainty for one of F1's top young talents.
He said: "It was not an easy thing. We talked with Toto and my management side in Mercedes and they told me not to worry, I would be having a chance in F1 in the future.
"Of course there were phases where it is a bit quiet so you doubt things a bit, but discussions started quite some time ago – so I'm pretty confident it's going to be OK, fingers crossed and touching wood!"
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