Ocon could switch to Renault in 2019 (Update)

Carlos Sainz Jr.
Carlos Sainz Jr.

UPDATE (GMM) Carlos Sainz Jr. is not yet out of the running to keep his Renault seat for 2019.

What is known is that Nico Hulkenberg is staying with the French works team.

"I am still pleased with my decision to join Renault," the German told Auto Hebdo.

"Of course, it will still take time. Will it be one, two, three years? We will see.

"I doubt the 2019 rule changes will change the hierarchy a lot. But we cannot afford to miss the big 'reset' of 2021," Hulkenberg added.

The identity of his 2019 teammate is less certain.

Renault is happy with Sainz, but the Spaniard is only 'on loan' from Red Bull. And in Hungary, rumors grew stronger that Esteban Ocon could replace him.

Sainz, in turn, has been linked with McLaren.

But Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul is not ruling out Sainz yet, even though he is believed to want a Frenchman at the wheel.

"We want to give Carlos a good car and we want him to stay at Renault," he told Spanish radio Cadena Cope. "There is no reason to be worried."

Spanish sources say Abiteboul will soon meet with his Renault bosses Jerome Stoll and CEO Carlos Ghosn to discuss the matter.

Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon

07/22/18 (GMM) Esteban Ocon has emerged as a serious contender to switch to Renault in 2019.

It is believed he is the main candidate should Red Bull rescind its 'loan' to the French team of Carlos Sainz.

Frenchman Ocon, who currently drives for Force India, is himself under contract to the Mercedes development program.

"I do not think there is any agreement with Renault, in fact we have the option of staying with him," Force India's Otmar Szafnauer said at Hockenheim.

But Mercedes' Toto Wolff thinks a Renault seat is a possibility for Ocon.

"Esteban is doing a very good job," he told Le Figaro.

"He has a lot of options, which is very good for him. Now we must choose what is the best for him. Renault is certainly one of the possibilities."

Rumors are linking Lance Stroll and Robert Kubica to Force India for 2019, with Sergio Perez possibly moving to Haas.

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