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Mercedes will not interfere with Ocon deal - Rossi

Mercedes will not interfere with Ocon deal - Rossi
© Reuters
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has backed Esteban Ocon's claim that Mercedes will not interfere with his career at least for the next three years.

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has backed Esteban Ocon's claim that Mercedes will not interfere with his career at least for the next three years.

The Renault-owned team has signed a new long-term contract with the Frenchman, despite the fact that Ocon remains managed by Mercedes and Toto Wolff.

"There is no reference to Mercedes in his contract," Rossi clarified at Paul Ricard.

"He is managed by them and that's about it. There is no clause for Mercedes to remove him from our team or anything like that.

"He will be with us for the next three years," he insisted.

Rossi said Ocon, 24, is "damn fast" and "a great guy", which is why he felt confident about signing him up for a full three years.

"At Renault, we have a medium to long term approach. We want to be here for a long time and this is the first step," he said.

"We have already seen enough in the performance of Esteban to know that he is good, so I don't want to be looking for another driver again in two years.

"We have learned from the past that those situations are not always good," added Rossi, undoubtedly referring to Renault's loss of Daniel Ricciardo.

"If you have a good driver, you want to keep him, so for me this is a guarantee that we will be fine in terms of the driver. So we definite didn't make a big mistake here."

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Esteban Ocon pictured on October 4, 2018
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Ocon retains Mercedes link despite Alpine deal

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States20231659
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12191344
Great BritainGreat Britain10101232
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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