Esteban Ocon is confident Mercedes will “remember” his potential even though he is set to spend a season on the sidelines.
Ocon failed to land a Formula 1 race seat for this year’s championship, blocked by other teams because of his Mercedes’ ties.
The Frenchman, though, kept faith with Mercedes who have named him as their official test and reserve driver for 2019.
But his year on the sidelines has raised questions about how easy, or hard, it will be for him to return in 2020.
His former team-mate Sergio Perez is one person asking such questions.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, the Mexican driver said: “I think a year out of this can change so much.
“Maybe he comes back and drives for Mercedes, but you never know what the future will hold.
“So, it is a risky move.
“I think he is lacking some maturity still, but I think that will come with the time.”
However, Ocon is confident Mercedes won’t forget what he can do behind the wheel.
“I’m lucky, that’s a positive to have the massive support from Mercedes,” he told Autosport.
“Even in difficult times they remember my potential and what I’ve done. That’s different to other junior programmes in F1.
“Mercedes remember, they don’t leave you alone, they keep supporting you and believe in your potential.
“When they take you it’s for a long time. That’s the positive I see at the moment.”
He does, however, acknowledge that there is very little he can do this season to bolster his prospects for 2020.
“I don’t know about that, when you’re not racing you don’t earn anything.
“I hope that those two years were enough to prove I deserve a seat for 2020.”
He added: “The only thing I can do is to do the talking on track.
“I believe everyone is happy with the work I’ve done so that’s the only thing I can do.
“The other things are not in my hands.”
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