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Ocon: I'm sure Schumacher will return to F1

With Mick Schumacher set for an enforced sabbatical from F1 in 2023, Esteban Ocon says he believes the German will make his way back onto the grid.

Esteban Ocon says he is sure Mick Schumacher will return to the Formula 1 grid at some point, after the German was dropped by Haas following two seasons with the American outfit. Despite scoring his first ever championship points during 2022, Schumacher scored only 12 to 25 for teammate Kevin Magnussen over the course of the season, and drew the ire of team boss Guenther Steiner after suffering several high-profile and costly accidents. Shortly before the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it was announced that Haas would replace Schumacher with F1 returnee Nico Hulkenberg for 2023. Ocon himself spent a year on F1's sidelines in 2019 after he was dropped by Force India before returning in 2020 with Renault, and the Frenchman drew on his own experience to suggest that Schumacher would be able to make a comeback to the sport.

Ocon backs Schumacher to return

"I believe he will [return to F1]," Ocon told media, including RacingNews365.com . "He will obviously work hard with this team to come back. I've been out of this sport, and I know how it feels [to leave F1] after two years. "But hard work, dedication, and just being here each time there was a car started, that's the thing that brought me back to the sport, and I'm sure he will have a shot again." Ocon and Schumacher are known to be friends, and earlier in the season, the Frenchman had named the German as his preferred choice to replace the outgoing Fernando Alonso at Alpine in 2023. However, the Enstone team ultimately chose Pierre Gasly as Alonso's replacement, and with Schumacher failing to find another seat on the grid, the German is set for at least one season on the sidelines in 2023, and has been linked with a reserve driver role at Mercedes.

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