Carlos Sainz's contract with McLaren, where he will replace Fernando Alonso, has added even more kerosene to that fire, which is what the situation on the pilots market is called. British expert Mark Hughes discusses how events can continue to evolve.
It can not be excluded that before the race we will learn about the new pilot skirmishes: Lance Strolls can go to Force India and Robert Kubica will take his place in the Williams team. But in Hungary there was hardly a very difficult rally, driven by Toto Wolff, who supported Esteban O & # 39; Connor, a Mercedes youth program.
Let's try to remember what it all started. About the race weekend in Hockenheim the situation with Force India has become of crucial importance. The team was threatened with closure and at least the introduction of outside control. T. Wolff was worried that this would all be an answer to Ocone's career.
Because it is very important for the Mercedes-team that O & # 39; Connans can complete this season, he has proposed that McLaren-team choose O & # 39; Connor instead of Stoffel Vandoorne. McLaren knew exactly at the time that Fernando Alonso had decided to finish his career in Formula 1, and Wolff's proposal gave him a chance to see how he rides in the background of O & # 39; Fernand and to judge if a young French pilot is suitable for them. In theory, it would have been helpful if Wokinge had decided to change the composition of the entire team the following year.
After the head office of Hockenheim in Renault, discussions were held, resulting in a main agreement to invite Ocone to replace Carlos Sainz in 2019. It seemed that such a prospect guaranteed the career extension of Esteban, but at that time it was still unclear whether Force India would stay and whether this team could finish this season.
For such an appointment, the McLaren team did not want to change Vandoorne to Ocone, which switched to Renault after six months. Then W. Wolff proposed Renault to place Ocona in the car at the C. Sainz machine in Hungary. But everything came to the contract of Carlos and Wolf approached McLaren again, this time with the idea that Vandoorne would replace Sainz. Probably this caused some problems with the Red Bull (the Spaniard, although Renault is racing, has contractual obligations with Red Bull), but McLaren has rejected this option.
Before the Hungarian GP stage, Force India was introduced with external management, which ensured that the team will remain in the race for the time being. Crisis managers considered the offer of four investors to cash in on the team's assets, so the nearest Ocon career could no longer worry: at that time it seemed to close the season with Force India and in 2019 it would Renault.
Then nobody predicted that a factor like Daniel Ricciardo could influence the situation, because everyone, including Red Bull, thought he would stay in that team. However, he unexpectedly accepted a serious proposal from Renault, while surprisingly not only the Red Bull, but also the real crew of the French car manufacturer. And then Renault has virtually left the services of Ocono, although it seemed like his contract was guaranteed for 2019.
Launc Stroll, head of the consortium, was the new owner of Force India, wondering why his son should race with the uncompetitive Williams until the end of the season. Theoretically, Lance, in Force India, could already go through the spa and come to the conclusion that the Ocono site was again threatened.
Sergio Perez should save his place because his sponsors give financial support to the team. It is understandable that Mercedes wants to keep everything in its place, and Force India will probably not go against the will of Toto Wolff, given the very close technical ties with Mercedes.
But if Still Senior Will Will Williams compensate and his son will move to Force India, it is logical to assume that Lance will change the wheel of Robert Kubica to the FW41 – and then the lion's dream of returning to the race are implemented.
But the prospects of Esteban Occo remain unclear for 2019. He can still be McLaren, Wolff already wanted to put him in the middle of this season …