Mercedes would not prevent Esteban Ocon from joining a rival manufacturer if it offered the Frenchman a chance to advance his Formula 1 career, with a switch to Renault appearing to be on the cards for 2019.

Mercedes junior Ocon currently races for the cash-strapped Force India team, but is known to be subject to significant interest from Renault for next season, having missed out on a seat with the works Mercedes operation after re-signed Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas for 2019.

A move is understood to be highly likely, with Wolff confirming last week that Mercedes - which enjoys a corporate partnership with Renault - would not stand in Ocon's way if a chance to progress up the grid and race for a more competitive team arose.

"We picked Esteban up when Gravity fell apart, and the first team that he was actually associated with was Renault. We at the time had just started our junior programme and it just felt right with Pascal [Wehrlein] and Esteban to give them a go," Wolff said.

"To date we are trying to set them a path that eventually will make them very successful long term; put then a position to be world champions maybe one day.

"But with Valtteri and Lewis we have a line-up that is stable, that works for us, and at that stage there is no opportunity within Mercedes.

"If [Ocon] has an opportunity somewhere else to be successful as a racing driver and another team or constructor to be successful, we wouldn’t want to stand in the way."

Ocon confirmed last week that he will remain under contract with Mercedes for "many years" to come, even if he were to join Renault for 2019, allowing the German marque to keep him as part of its fold while also giving him the chance to race for a more competitive team. 

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