Gwen Lagrue, the man who runs Mercedes' young driver academy, has suggested that the team still 'manage' the career of Alpine driver Esteban Ocon.
The Frenchman was very much part of the Brackley-based outfit's plans having driven with Mercedes in the 2016 DTM season, before competing in Formula 1 with both Manor Racing and Force India, while under a long-term contract with Mercedes.
Lagrue heads Mercedes' young driver programme, in which the likes of Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Frederik Vesti and Mick Schumacher are all hoping to get their chance once Hamilton decides to retire.
“He’s still very linked to us,” Lagrue told The Race about Ocon.
“He’s an Alpine driver, and he’s fully committed to Alpine, but we’re still managing his career.
“There are only 20 seats in Formula 1, and we are in a way pretty much all collaborating in the best interests of the sport. And in our case we have a very good relationship with Alpine and with others.
“And we always try to find the best solution to work together in the best interest of the team and the driver.”
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.