Esteban Ocon turned down several opportunities to race outside of F1 next season as the Mercedes driver faces a probable year on the sidelines in 2019.

Circumstances and a scarcity of available seats have left the French driver with a single opportunity to remain on the F1 grid next season, and that chance – a seat at Williams alongside rookie George Russell – is dependent on the British team securing the funding to hire Ocon.

Hailed as one of the sport’s brightest talents, the Force India driver has apparently been courted by several teams or series outside of F1, with Formula E and Indycar believed to have touched base with the driver in the past few months.

The 22-year-old remains committed to Mercedes however, and if a drive with Williams fails to materialize, he would likely inherit a development and reserve role with the Silver Arrows outfit.

“There has been talks that I could race in many different places and I won’t go in details, but we are choosing not to do that,” he said.

“If I don’t race next year I will choose to stay close to Mercedes and try to learn as much as I can from them.

“Maybe do some testing here and there if possible, and work close to them. That is the only thing I can do to stay in shape, to stay around F1.

“I don’t feel like I have experience to gain if I go somewhere, which I have already done before,” he added.

“To wait for an F1 seat I did DTM for example. Back in the days I learned a lot and I don’t think that is the same nowadays with the experience I have got in F1. I don’t plan to race somewhere else.”

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Racing Point Force India F1 VJM11. 20.10.2018

As for his prospects for Williams, Ocon stressed that he has no control over the team’s final decision.

“What I know is that it is not in my hands,” he said.

“It is not in my managements’ hands either. It is for Williams to decide basically. We will see how things evolve.

“There are at the moment two races to go, so I am trying to focus on that and after that we will see what happens.”

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