MX23RW : Monday, July 22 16:33:55| >> :600:3315483:3315483:

Ocon 'working hard' for 2020 race seat

Ocon 'working hard' for 2020 race seat
© Reuters
Esteban Ocon says his hopes of returning to the grid next year remain high.

Esteban Ocon says his hopes of returning to the grid next year remain high.

Having missed out on a seat for 2019, the former Force India driver now travels the calendar as Mercedes' reserve.

He is strongly backed by Toto Wolff, but with Valtteri Bottas performing so well so far this year, Ocon may need to look elsewhere for a 2020 cockpit.

"It's a transition year for me," the 22-year-old Frenchman told Le Journal de Montreal.

"It's not easy to not be in the car, especially at a place like Montreal, but my management team is working very hard to get me a ride for next year," said Ocon.

"I have to show patience and I hope it will be rewarded."

In the meantime, Ocon says he is busy in the Mercedes simulator. He said he did 300 laps of the Montreal track to help the world champions prepare.

"I'm very busy in my job," he said. "I do not have much time to think about my personal situation. I am always on the simulator or at the factory.

"I help the team a lot in moving the car forward and I'm learning a lot," Ocon added. "It's no coincidence that they have won the last championships.

"When I have a new cockpit, I will be an even more complete driver."

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Valtteri Bottas in action during Spanish GP practice on May 10, 2019
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