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Ocon: 'Hard times put huge pressure on my shoulders'

Esteban Ocon
© XPB 

Esteban Ocon admits that before reaching F1 he had to deal with a huge amount of pressure to succeed, the likes of which were a bit overbearing for a teenager.

The 20-year-old is carving out a niche for himself in Formula 1, where determination and drive are the allies he exploited to reach the pinnacle of motor sport.

Ocon grew up in a family of modest means where huge financial sacrifice and devotion were the only assets he could rely on - along with his outstanding talent - to climb racing's ladder.

And given the massive efforts conceded by his family, failure was not an option for the teenage charger.

"I only can say if I had not have succeeded it would have been terrible," Ocon told Formula1.com.

"I had big, big pressure from a very young age. I was not a normal kid! I didn’t have a kid life!

"Probably you could say that I went straight from being a toddler to an adult life. Sure that is a bit exaggerated – but when you are so young you feel that way.

"I understood the facts of life from very early on. It was a hard time – but now it is time for me to enjoy! (Laughs) 

Ocon isn't sure where he would currently be without his racing success, helped in a big way by Mercedes' support after he proved his mettle in the junior formulae. 

"Without my racing success – that the pieces of the puzzle fell into the right places – I probably would now be working as a mechanic or have another simple job," he says.

"The McDonalds example [Ocon said he’d be flipping burgers if Toto Wolff hadn’t stepped in to help his career] was just a joke but it went viral worldwide – but being a mechanic would have been the biggest likelihood.

"So yes: I am hungry. I know where I come from and I know of all the sacrifices my parents have put in to make my career possible. Probably this is a similarity to Lewis!"

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