[F1 2018 VIDEO FEATURE] ESTEBAN OCON: SILVER DREAMS

The Belgian Grand Prix marks two years since Frenchman Esteban Ocon arrived on the Formula 1 grid - and he continues to show all the hallmarks of a superstar on the rise.

The 21-year-old has taken the fight to teammate Sergio Pérez this season – despite the Mexican being the only driver outside F1’s top-three teams to get on the podium, making the most of chaos in Azerbaijan.

Across the first 12 rounds, Ocon outqualified Pérez 9-3 and outraced him 7-2, when they could be compared. Ocon just 1-point behind the Mexican in terms of total haul, despite three retirements to Pérez’s one.

The Frenchman’s improved performance a factor of his commitment, with Ocon upping his training pre-season.

SOUNDBITE (English) ESTEBAN OCON,
F1 DRIVER, FORCE INDIA:
“I’ve been improving on every level of [my] fitness and coordination, reaction. So I’m pretty pleased with my development there, and now it’s all going to be competition.”

But, it’s likely all change for 2019 with Force India now in transition to its new owners, the Lawrence Stroll-led consortium – enabling his son Lance to escape the pain at Williams.

Should Ocon be replaced, he could find himself at McLaren or even Toro Rosso, which is a long way from the Renault seat he looked on for… until Daniel Ricciardo’s shock deal to partner Nico Hülkenberg.

However, Ocon is a highly rated Mercedes protégé, so the end game has to be for a Silver Arrows seat. And it’s an opportunity that he’ll likely have to tread water for until at least 2020.

SOUNDBITE (English) ESTEBAN OCON,
F1 DRIVER, FORCE INDIA:
“I'm a Mercedes driver, so I'm part of the programme, part of the development since 2015, the end of 2015, so of course it would be the logical way, but you know, I'm totally dedicated to Force India at the moment, and you know, if you do the talk on [the] track there will always be plenty of opportunities.”

From his debut for Manor Racing at the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix, through to Force India and beyond, Ocon is a star of the future - one who’s biding his time until his chance to fight for wins and titles arrives.