Oct.25 - Esteban Ocon is hoping the sometimes "brutal" world of Formula 1 does not expel George Russell.
Following the Dorilton Capital takeover, acting Williams boss Simon Roberts in Portugal would not deny speculation the team is looking to replace Russell, 22, with the heavily Mexican-backed Sergio Perez for 2021.
On Saturday at Portimao, Russell qualified 14th - a huge eighth tenths ahead of Latifi in last place.
"I've just read it in the press so I don't know what's happening in that team," Ocon said in Portugal when asked about the Russell rumours.
"It would not be fair if he's not on the grid next year, but that's Formula 1 - sometimes it's brutal. I realised that at the end of 2018 but I hope he escapes this fate."
What Ocon and Russell have in common, however, is their solid backing by Toto Wolff and Mercedes.
"That is very important," Ocon agreed. "I wouldn't be here without Mercedes.
"But let's not say that George will be left without a contract. I don't know what will happen, but judging by his performances, he should be on the grid next year."
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