Autosport are reporting that Williams want to sign Esteban Ocon to partner George Russell in 2019.
With the deciding factor likely to be budget, Williams are apparently in the process of trying to source the funding to enable them to seat Esteban Ocon in their second car, the Frenchman – one of the most promising on the grid – being without major financial backing.
This would signify a change in direction for a team who seemed dependent on financial support from both drivers in 2018, opting for the handsomely backed Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin when better drivers seemed available.
It would also suggest a more aggressive, forward-thinking approach from Williams who have spent the majority of 2018 on the back foot thanks to a shopping trolley of a car with which their two inexperienced drivers have struggled all season.
It’s no secret that Williams have found this season incredibly difficult and are at pains to make next season a lot more enjoyable for team, drivers and fans alike.
Seating a pair of young, hungry talented drivers in their car for 2019 certainly gives everyone concerned cause for optimism for the season ahead.
And with positive noises coming from Grove about their 2019 car (albeit from the same people who made positive noises about the 2018 car!), and a seemingly healthy budget (healthy enough to be considering two non-pay drivers for the first time since 2016) Williams can again focus on tackling those cars in front of them rather than worrying about the ones behind.