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Ocon will cut Mercedes ties with Renault move

Ocon will cut Mercedes ties with Renault move

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Ocon will cut Mercedes ties with Renault move

Ocon will cut Mercedes ties with Renault move

Esteban Ocon will cut most ties with Mercedes when he becomes a Renault driver in 2020, Cyril Abiteboul has confirmed.

Renault confirmed the arrival of Ocon on a two-year deal from next season ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, securing the French driver's return to the grid, having spent 2019 without a race seat after Renault opted to sign Daniel Ricciardo ahead of him.

Abiteboul was accused by Toto Wolff of breaking a 'gentleman's agreement' in the process, having opted against a deal that was reported to be a loan.

However, the terms have changed a year on, with Ocon fully contracted to Renault when he arrives next year, having operated under the Mercedes umbrella since 2015.

Asked if Ocon would retain any ties with Mercedes, Abiteboul said: "No. He's a Renault driver, that's very clear.

"Mercedes will have absolutely no right on him for the duration of his contract.

"So, small difference is that his management company happens to be a racing team, and that's Mercedes – but it's a slightly different set-up from the set-up we had with Carlos last year, where that was on loan and not under contract with Red Bull – but he [Ocon] will be a fully-fledged Renault driver."

Ocon will replace Nico Hulkenberg, who has been booted after three years with the team, and Abiteboul said the decision was partly down to wanting to refresh the whole outfit's mindset.

"Frankly, when you make a decision like that, you don't just look at pure pace, you also need to look at the collective dynamic. And there is a dynamic we need to restart, reset into the team," he said.

"And probably, we need to project ourselves into the medium to long-term future. So not just 2020 but also 2021, and what's happening to his team-mate and so on and so forth.

"So that's all of that but in particular the collective dynamic and what Esteban can probably bring to the team.

"Probably starving for racing, being super-happy to come back into racing, by nature, by construction because also he's been out of a seat for a year. It's all of these elements that we factored into the equation."

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