Esteban Ocon makes claim about racing with Max Verstappen at Red Bull

Esteban Ocon defeated Max Verstappen whilst competing in Formula 3.

Esteban Ocon has revealed that he sees himself battling reigning World Champion Max Verstappen for the crown in the future, should himself and the Dutchman “have the same car”.

The Alpine driver is currently one of the strongest in the midfield, with the Frenchman sitting ninth in the Drivers’ Championship.

He has already joined Verstappen on the podium this season, after finishing third famously at the Monaco Grand Prix last month.

Ocon is, of course, an F1 race winner, having won the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.

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He is hungry for more though and believes he can “fight” Verstappen for the title going forwards, but that he requires equal machinery to do so.

“I see myself fighting with Verstappen for a world title, yes. If we have the same car, sure! Ocon told DAZN.

“Max is doing great now, he’s dominant with Red Bull. But I don’t care who the other driver is. I want to fight for the championship and I’ve always believed in myself.”

Ocon and Verstappen have done battle before, with the pair having been rivals in their junior careers whilst racing in Formula 3.

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In F3, it was actually Ocon who came out on top.

Despite having previously been rivals, it’s believed that the duo are on better terms now, suggesting that they would get along should they find themselves in the same team one day.

Interestingly, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Ocon had more hype surrounding him initially than the two-time World Champion, who was driving a less competitive car.

“Back in the day I think there wasn’t huge hype around Max, because Max and Van Amersfoort weren’t winning the championship that year. Esteban won in a more competitive car,” Wolff told ESPN.

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“So the insiders knew that Max probably was in an inferior package and in his first year, and the insiders knew there was a very good one coming, but it wasn’t clear that he was that good at that stage.

“You can only say when someone grows in Formula One and matures that he is a true world champion – an outstanding one. Before we had Lewis and then Michael Schumacher and before that [Ayrton] Senna.

“Who is the next one? Was it clear that Max would step into these shoes? It wasn’t clear back then.”