Esteban Ocon drops huge claim about Max Verstappen

Esteban Ocon recently reflected on his Formula 3 battle with Verstappen and expressed ambition for a title fight.

Esteban Ocon believes he has the skill and determination to compete against Max Verstappen for the Formula 1 world championship if they were to be teammates. 

Verstappen is currently on track to secure his third consecutive title in the 2023 season, with little competition from his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who trails him by 69 points after eight rounds.

The rivalry between Ocon and Verstappen dates back to their FIA Formula 3 title battle in 2014, where the Frenchman emerged victorious. 

However, while Verstappen made his F1 debut the following year, Ocon had to wait until mid-2016 to join the grid. 

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Due to Ocon’s career being primarily spent in the midfield, their on-track battles have been limited.

One of their most memorable encounters occurred at the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix, where Verstappen was leading the race while Ocon was a lap down. 

Ocon, driving for Force India at the time, attempted to unlap himself by making an overtake into the opening corners, resulting in a collision that cost Verstappen a potential victory.

Reflecting on their history, Ocon expressed his belief in his abilities, saying: “Sure, I see myself fighting with Verstappen for a world title if we had the same car. Now Max is doing an incredible job, he is dominating with Red Bull. But I don’t care who the driver is, I want to fight for the championship. I’ve always believed in myself.”

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Despite spending several years in the midfield, Ocon remains steadfast in his goal to become a world champion. He stated: “We have a long road ahead of us, but my goal is to be world champion, nothing more. 

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“The truth is I don’t want people to think I’m a tough guy because I’m a nice guy out there, but my way of racing is aggressive. It’s probably true, but I’m happy with it.”

Regarding his future, Ocon expressed contentment with his current team, Alpine, and their progress. 

However, he acknowledged the unpredictable nature of F1, stating: “But in F1, you never know the future. I know the sacrifices I’ve made and everything I’ve had to go through to get to where I am. But this is just the beginning.”