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Mercedes Hamilton replacement takes twist as 'strong links' to current F1 star emerge

Mercedes Hamilton replacement takes twist as 'strong links' to current F1 star emerge

Mercedes Hamilton replacement takes twist as 'strong links' to current F1 star emerge

Mercedes Hamilton replacement takes twist as 'strong links' to current F1 star emerge

Alpine F1 star Esteban Ocon has admitted that he still has 'strong links' with Mercedes as the team scramble to find a replacement for the outgoing Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton took the world of F1 by storm when he revealed that he would be leaving Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season and joining Ferrari.

The bombshell news now leaves the Silver Arrows with the difficult task of finding a suitable driver to fill the shoes of a seven-time world champion.

READ MORE: F1 star admits he KNEW of Hamilton Ferrari switch BEFORE announcement

Although there will be plenty of drivers throwing their hat into the ring for the vacant seat, one has a connection that many others do not.

Lewis Hamilton (L) and Esteban Ocon (R)
Lewis Hamilton will be a Ferrari driver for the 2025 F1 season

Ocon who was part of the Mercedes academy setup prior to his arrival onto the F1 scene, is still managed by the Silver Arrows – something that he admitted is no secret.

Ocon: I have strong links with Mercedes

"I obviously still have strong links with Mercedes, I'm still a Mercedes junior driver, that is no secret to anyone," Ocon told Sky Sports.

"But I'm totally dedicated to Alpine this year, I've got 24 races to get through and we'll see where we end up.

"Formula 1 is fierce, a lot of things can happen, as we can see, but I'm ready to take on the challenge."

"This has always been, even if I'm not that junior anymore, I'm still contracted with them at some stage," he added.

"So, it is how it is. We will see."

It is set to be all change for the grid at the end of the 2024 season

"It's going to be a pretty crazy season on that side, for sure," Ocon continued. "Silly season has already started.

"For me it's important to focus on what I have to focus, and that is the track, that is the results, that is doing a good job on track.

"I've been part of this team for a long time, I know that if you do a good job, you'll always have opportunities and talks and rumours and all these things, but I'm going to be focused on what matters, and leave my manager and team to deal with that."

READ MORE: F1 confirm HISTORIC rule change for the 2024 season

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