Lewis Hamilton has called into question Formula 1’s structure due to the uncertainty surrounding Esteban Ocon’s future in the sport.

Mercedes-backed Ocon was a star performer in Belgian Grand Prix qualifying as he headed a second-row lock-out for the newly formed Racing Point Force India squad with a brilliant lap in wet conditions to seal third on the grid.

But Ocon’s position at the Silverstone-based outfit appears in doubt, with Williams driver Lance Stroll increasingly linked with a switch to Force India – possibly as early as this season – after his father, Lawrence Stroll, led a consortium to save the team from administration over the summer break.

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"I've always been supporter of Esteban. How he conducts himself and how he performs on track, he is exceptional,” Hamilton said after claiming the 78th pole position of his career at Spa.

"Unfortunately we're in a weird place in Formula 1 where some teams, rather than take the up-and-coming kid, they take whoever has got the money.

“It means the structure of the sport is probably wrong, in terms of how the funds are distributed.

"I've not read who has signed where and what seats are available but he needs to be in a great car because he is one of the top drivers here. I hope there is an opportunity for him.

"You can't let someone who has more money leapfrog a better driver, it just shouldn't happen. The governing body definitely has to [address it] somehow."

Vettel also praised the Frenchman and said putting a car “that doesn’t belong in P3” in that position “should be considered for signing him [Ocon] next year.”

"From the outside it's difficult to judge but I think he's doing everything right," Vettel said.

"It's very good for him to get this qualifying session under the belt, and get the car P3 where it doesn't belong, I think that shows enough in a session like that that can be quite chaotic and you can easily do a mistake.

"To keep his head together is crucial and that's what he did."

“I think unfortunately that in our times, when a new guy comes in then he’s a super hero, then another guy comes in and then he’s the super hero and another guy comes in and he’s the new super hero,” he added.

“By that time, the first guy is easily forgotten even though he’s doing a very good job. But not really considered and talked about and written about.”



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