Force India Formula 1 driver Esteban Ocon insists Daniel Ricciardo’s decision to leave Red Bull to race for Renault in 2019 did not come as a shock to him. 

Ocon held talks with Renault earlier this season and was understood to be close to agreeing a switch to the Enstone squad for next year, only for Ricciardo’s announcement to slam the door shut on the Frenchman. 

The Mercedes junior faces fresh uncertainty over his future after a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll rescued Force India from administration following the Hungarian Grand Prix, leading to speculation the Canadian businessman’s son, Lance Stroll, could move to the team from Williams.

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“It was not a shock. We had possibilities there. In the end, it has passed and we have to move forward,” Ocon said.

“I wish Daniel and Renault the best. He’s a good guy and I like him so I wish him the best.”

Ricciardo’s bombshell set off a chain of major driver announcements during F1’s summer break, with Fernando Alonso confirming he will quit the sport at the end of the season. Current Renault driver Carlos Sainz will take his fellow countryman’s seat at McLaren, while Pierre Gasly will be promoted to Red Bull from sister squad Toro Rosso.

Ocon’s best hopes of landing a spot on the 2019 grid appear to be with either Force India or fellow Mercedes customer Williams, possibly in a direct swap with Stroll. Despite the uncertainty, Ocon stressed he is not worried about his future and trusts Mercedes to ensure he will continue to race in F1 beyond this year.

“I’m not worried, my management and Mercedes have been taking the right choices in the past years and I’m sure they will be able to do the same again,” he explained.

“I have the full support from Toto, from Mercedes, from my management, they are fully working on next year, on all the opportunities possible. There are rumours in different places but we will see.”

The sole-remaining seat at McLaren has also been mooted as an outside bet for Ocon, and the Frenchman admitted he would not rule out a move to the Woking-based squad.

“I don’t know if I’ll be moving to McLaren, I don’t know if I’ll be moving from here,” he replied when asked about the ongoing speculation. “At the moment, these are just rumours. We’ll see. What is important is to always perform on track.

“If it’s a possibility, why not? If it’s a possibility to stay here, I would be happy as well.”