Wolff admits to Ocon interest for 2022

23 February 2021 01:45:36 GMTPlus10

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has not ruled out Alpine driver Esteban Ocon taking up a race seat with his team in 2022.

The Silver Arrows were the last of the constructors to announce their line-up for the 2021 season, adding seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to the grid on a one-year contract back in February.

We will evaluate in the middle of the year whether there will be a change in 2022.

Toto Wolff

Given how short the deal with Hamilton is, there have been suggestions the Briton could be nearing an end to his career and there has been plenty of speculation about Mercedes' make up for next year.

Should Merc not continue with Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas, junior driver George Russell could be considered for a promotion.

Meanwhile, Ocon, who was part of the team's driver development programme and is in his second year with Alpine, who were formerly known as Renault, has been linked with a return.

And while Wolff believes it is too early to be speculating about such changes in 2022, he has not ruled out moves for Russell, who is currently with Williams, or Ocon.

Speaking to Speedweek.com, Wolff said: "Ocon is in the second year of a two-year contract with Renault or Alpine F1 this year, Russell is with Williams this year. So there are some variations for 2022.

"But until then our full support goes to Valtteri and Lewis.

"We will evaluate in the middle of the year whether there will be a change in 2022. It is surely too early now to talk about scenarios for 2022."

Esteban Ocon is 1001.00 to win the Formula 1 Drivers Championship 2021, with Russell 3001.00.

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