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Is a year out such a bad thing? In most sports a whole season out of top-level competition is often a career-ending prospect. But Formula 1 provides shining examples - most notably Fernando Alonso - of how Esteban Ocon could make a triumphant return.
Most drivers who set out on the road to Formula 1 never make it, and those that do find it almost as hard to stay there as to get there in the first place. But the rarest of breeds is the returnee - the driver who arrives, disappears then returns triumphant. This is exactly what Esteban Ocon aspires to do, either by taking Valtteri Bottas's Mercedes seat or landing a deal with a rival team.
In elite sport, a year on the sidelines is regarded as disastrous for career momentum. Losing a year when you have a relatively short competitive shelf-life is never a good thing, but it's not necessarily the body blow some believe it to be. If Ocon is frustrated, he just needs to look to the example of a certain Fernando Alonso.
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- Formula 1