Force India's Esteban Ocon says that without the support of Mercedes and Toto Wolff in particular, it's unlikely he would be racing in Formula 1.
The French driver started his racing career in karting with the help of his hard working father, Laurent Ocon, a mechanic who owns a garage in Evreux.
The young charger was signed by Gravity Sports management when he was 14, a move which enabled him to tackle the junior categories and ultimately win the European Formula 3 Championship in 2014.
Mercedes then took a keen interest in Ocon, including the 17-year-old in its young driver program.
"Between the end of 2014 and the start of 2015, if Toto Wolff had not been there to help me, I'd probably be flipping burgers at McDonald's now," Ocon told Italy's La Gazetta dello Sport.
"Without the support, I would not have been able to continue racing. I didn't have any money. But then Toto came to talk to me..."
The Mercedes protégé has lived up to the manufacturer's expectations in a very big way, as Ocon, who has scored points in every single race this season bar one, is perceived as one of F1's most promising talents.
His current allegiance is with the German manufacturer and Force India, but having grown up as a devoted Michael Schumacher, Ferrari is obviously rocking his dreams.
"My model was Michael Schumacher, I raced with the same helmet and red overalls as him," admits Ocon.
"Ferrari is a dream and a team that represents so much for me. I did a test at Fiorano back in 2014 and I remember it as if it happened yesterday. So one day, yes, I would like to drive for them."