Bottas and Ocon Confirmed for 2020

Ocon Renault.jpg

No surprise to many as the F1 rumour mill has been working overdrive with Mercedes confirming Bottas for another season, Renault have followed that with announcing Esteban Ocon will drive for them alongside Daniel Ricciardo from next season.



Mercedes has exercised it's option to extend it's contract with Valterri Bottas for the 2020 F1 season, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said "The results we have achieved together with Valtteri are no coincidence: he has been an integral part of our championship success in the past two seasons, his teamwork with Lewis has been exemplary and he has shown real strength of character in how he has responded to setbacks. I’m delighted that he will stay with the team for another season at least – and look forward to seeing him raise the bar even further.”



Renault state that Ocon has signed a multi-year contract, after spending this season as the third driver for the current world champions, I suspect Ocon will be chomping at the bit to once again demonstrate his race craft on track.

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal Renault F1 Team comments "We are very happy to work with Esteban for the next two seasons. Over his F1 career Esteban has experienced the highs and lows of the sport, and fully understood the need to seize every possible chance. In addition to lending his natural talent, Esteban’s aim will be to focus his natural energy and drive, both of which have been intensified by a year away from racing. It is then up to us to infuse them into the next phase of the team’s progress"

What are your thoughts, excited to see Ocon back in F1? Has Bottas earnt the right to challenge Hamilton in 2020 at Mercedes?

 
 
I am RD's social media manager and podcast host, thoiugh I do a little bit of everything round here. Post articles, host events, commentate and as well as behind the scenes stuff when RD is streaming. I'm generally making a nuisance of myself.

LeSunTzu

1000RPM
Feb 13, 2013
1,046
1,831
I don't see how Ocon can do better than Hulk, but sooner or later Hulk had to pay the price for his lack of memorable performances.
 

Dennemark

1RPM
Dec 28, 2017
7
4
106
Ocon racing Verstappen at the wrong time...
Verstappen drove a Renault-powered car when that happened...
Ocon now drives for Renault...
Poetry.
 
May 23, 2013
19
3
58
It doesn't really matter to me. Bottas has always pushed forward so good on him. Ocon has shown great results, so good on him. But all in all It's just entertainment so let the best man win.
 

LeSunTzu

1000RPM
Feb 13, 2013
1,046
1,831
Btw assuming Bottas accepted again a one-year deal, that implies a Mercedes plan to get Hamilton matching/breaking Schumacher's records by the end of 2020 and prepare for his succession from 2021.
 

BP

1000RPM
Premium
Nov 1, 2016
1,200
1,000
Btw assuming Bottas accepted again a one-year deal, that implies a Mercedes plan to get Hamilton matching/breaking Schumacher's records by the end of 2020 and prepare for his succession from 2021.
Was there ever any other plan in mind? :D

Lewis is very much in contention for becoming the next F1 G.O.A.T (as far as stats are concerned...please everyone let's not have the tired "different eras/when men were men" argument), so there's no reason to switch things up just because Ocon needs a seat. Bottas is a great No. 2 driver and now Ocon gets to represent his home country's team, a win-win for both as far as I'm concerned. Who knows: maybe Renault is playing the long game and burning the midnight oil for the 2021 switcharoo and may actually be title contenders in that new era.

I also agree with Hulk moving to Haas and Grosjean getting the boot.
 

NDG

250RPM
Aug 29, 2017
469
182
Bottas should be glad Ocon is not a very big threat. I think Bottas cannot dodge the bullet next time when George Russell is the option. I think Merc will easily pull the trigger on that. But that's a discussion for some years later down the line. But if that is a thing, he should keep that in mind. He only has a year and a half to bag a championship. 2021 will be different (hopefully). Bottas, maybe Max too, are the only guys in the field right now who can stop Lewis from getting the 7.
 

michelforest

500RPM
Mar 2, 2010
771
1,098
Haas seems to be the next step for Hulkenberg. Personally, I'd like him to end up at Red Bull, but I think Albon will be a great 2nd driver to Verstappen.

So unless Haas improves dramatically, Hulkenberg will probably end his F1 career without a win or even a podium... (Or maybe there will be a crazy race like the last German GP and he'll get lucky.)

That means Grosjean is out of a drive at Haas, probably out of F1 for good. He never proved he had what it takes to go to a top team.
 

LeSunTzu

1000RPM
Feb 13, 2013
1,046
1,831
@NDG Bottas is nowhere near a WC title, he does not come close to Rosberg. I bet Mercedes will recruit a bigger name (Verstappen, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Vettel) as soon as Hamilton gives any sign of declining form or motivation.
 

michelforest

500RPM
Mar 2, 2010
771
1,098
@NDG Bottas is nowhere near a WC title, he does not come close to Rosberg. I bet Mercedes will recruit a bigger name (Verstappen, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Vettel) as soon as Hamilton gives any sign of declining form or motivation.
I see Hamilton racing at least until 2021, so forget about Vettel at Mercedes.
 

muzikant

1000RPM
Apr 19, 2010
1,186
814
Vettel never go to mercedes my opinion. Maybe Redbull in future? Maybe he retired we do not know.
Mercedes is watching...there young tallents Russel, Ocon.... or wait for Max when he is ready to switch
 

BP

1000RPM
Premium
Nov 1, 2016
1,200
1,000
Bottas should be glad Ocon is not a very big threat. I think Bottas cannot dodge the bullet next time when George Russell is the option. I think Merc will easily pull the trigger on that. But that's a discussion for some years later down the line. But if that is a thing, he should keep that in mind. He only has a year and a half to bag a championship. 2021 will be different (hopefully). Bottas, maybe Max too, are the only guys in the field right now who can stop Lewis from getting the 7.
As @LeSunTzu said, it's doubtful anyone will be stopping the Hamilton/Mercedes Juggernaut from claiming 7 titles by 2020. Short of any injuries, the only possible roadblocks:
  1. 1) Honda squeezes out more power out of next year's engine combined with Max getting paired up with a strong No. 2 driver for more points (really hoping Albon is that guy).
  2. 2) Ferrari builds a better chassis to match their strong engines and Leclerc is given more freedom to race on his terms.
I do think Hamilton won't stop until he's gotten 8 WDC's.
 

NDG

250RPM
Aug 29, 2017
469
182
@NDG Bottas is nowhere near a WC title, he does not come close to Rosberg. I bet Mercedes will recruit a bigger name (Verstappen, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Vettel) as soon as Hamilton gives any sign of declining form or motivation.
I know, I didn't say that, or like that. What I meant was the car and the chance they have. It is right now for both Bottas and Max. If not, Lewis will just keep collecting those WC.

I also think Vettel, and arguably with his decline, will not go to Merc. I actually think Max have a bigger chance than any driver in the field to replace Lewis, but not team with him. It is not a secret that Merc has been chasing max even before he started in F1.