In Brief

F1 digest: Mick Schumacher not on Toro Rosso’s list for 2019

Esteban Ocon refuses to give up on his F1 future and Ferrari are ‘far from taking a chance’ with Charles Leclerc

Toro Rosso rule out Mick Schumacher

Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael, is not in contention for a seat at Toro Rosso next season.

The 19-year-old has impressed in Formula 3 and was reportedly on the radar of Toro Rosso, who could potentially have two seats available. Pierre Gasly is stepping up to Red Bull in 2019 while Brendon Hartley’s future remains uncertain.

Last week it was reported that Toro Rosso had a “longlist” of ten potential drivers, but Schumacher is not one of them.

PlanetF1.com says that Red Bull motorsport adviser Dr Helmut Marko has rejected the rumours that Schumacher was in Toro Rosso’s plans. Speaking to Auto Bild, Marko said: “He is not on our list and we have no contact at all with him.” 

Ocon: I will not give up

Esteban Ocon may not have yet secured a seat for 2019 but he is refusing to give up hope.

Despite winning 45 points this season and currently sitting tenth in the F1 standings, the Force India driver looks set to miss out next season. The BBC says it’s due to “a combination of politics, bad timing and misfortune”.

Writing on Twitter, 21-year-old Ocon said: “We have been in tough situations before and have always overcome them. There was no easy way throughout my career. I can promise you that I will not give up at this moment. Motivation is high. My old-time rivals are in top cars and this makes me hungrier than ever. I’m born to race and my only goal is to be champion, and will always be.”

In an interview with Autosport Ocon added that he was “really disappointed” with the situation. He said: “I am fighting hard to do the best I can every race and arriving here, not knowing what I will do next year is hard to swallow.” 

No regrets for Ricciardo

After announcing in August that he would be leaving Red Bull for Renault at the end of the season Daniel Ricciardo says he hasn’t had any second thoughts about the move.

“No, I don’t,” he told F1.com. “I’m aware that, at the moment, the structure at Red Bull is stronger. But I’ve certainly switched my mindset to a bit more of a longer-term project.

“I felt good once I signed it and I feel I know what I’m getting into. I’m aware of all that, and I thought about it for some time.” 

Leclerc is not a gamble

Ferrari have been accused of taking a gamble on Charles Leclerc as Sebastian Vettel’s partner for next season, but The Guardian’s Giles Richards believes it’s a good move by the Italian team.

Sauber driver Leclerc, 20, replaces Kimi Raikkonen and although he is yet to complete a full season in F1 he is “calm, assured and mature beyond his years”, says Richards.

“Throwing young talent into the heat of the battle at the very front of the Formula 1 grid is a bold move,” Richards writes. “For Ferrari it is also out of character, given their usually more conservative approach to appointing drivers.

“Yet the Scuderia are far from taking a chance with Leclerc, one of the most exciting talents in the sport, who has proved he has the attributes to partner Sebastian Vettel in the most prestigious drive in motor racing.”

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