Deserve to be in F1 in 2025

Alpine was one of the clear losers of the year on the first six race weekends of the 2024 Formula 1 season. The Renault factory team was able to score its first point of the season two weeks ago in Miami thanks to Esteban Ocon, but they are still clearly lagging behind their own expectations.

In addition to the performance crisis, there is uncertainty about the Alpine driver pairing for the future. At Ocon, the contract signed in 2021 expires at the end of the year. Will the Frenchman flee given his poor form? “We’ll see. Things can change quickly in Formula 1,” says Ocon, not letting up.

Ocon: Wants security early on

At the same time, the Frenchman reveals that he is aiming for clarity about his future as early as possible: “The most important thing is to have security as early as possible. That is, as always, a clear goal of mine.” Because Ocon can tell you from the past what it’s like to end up empty-handed in the Formula 1 driver market.

In the 2018 Formula 1 season, Ocon was in his second full season with the Force India team. After Vijay Mallya’s team had to declare bankruptcy and Lawrence Stroll’s team was taken over, Ocon lost his cockpit to his son Lance Stroll. An originally planned move to Renault fell through after Daniel Ricciardo’s completely surprising move to Enstone.

In 2018, Ocon lost his cockpit at Force India/Racing Point, photo: Sutton
In 2018, Ocon lost his cockpit at Force India/Racing Point, photo: Sutton

Ocon on the F1 driver market: The main thing is not like 2018

A switch to another team could not be realized at a time when numerous cockpits were already occupied. In the 2019 season, Ocon only found himself in the role of Mercedes substitute driver. In 2020 the move to Renault (now Alpine) was finally realized and Ocon replaced Nico Hülkenberg.

“I don’t want to pay the price a second time, like it was at the end of 2018,” Ocon explains. “It wasn’t a good memory and not for performance reasons.” When it comes to his performance in 2024, Ocon is satisfied. “I’m doing a good job this year and in the years I’ve completed in Formula 1,” said the 27-year-old.

Ocon sets the tone in the Alpine duel with Pierre Gasly

That’s why Ocon is going on the offensive in view of a new contract and states: “I deserve to have a place in Formula 1.” At least the team’s internal statistics confirm that the 139-time GP starter is right. On the six race weekends so far in 2024, Ocon only had to admit defeat to teammate Pierre Gasly in the sprint qualifying in China and in the chase for the Grand Prix in Miami.

Alpine rider Esteban Ocon
Ocon is ahead at Alpine so far this year, Photo: LAT Images

At the same time, Ocon admits that he does not hold all the reins when it comes to the question of his future. “It’s never 100 percent in anyone’s hands. That’s never the case, it’s also up to the teams,” admits Ocon. With all the uncertainty in the currently volatile Formula 1 driver market, it is even more important to have clarity at an early stage. “This part is a dark side of Formula 1 that I never enjoyed. So the sooner it’s done, the better,” Ocon clarifies.

The man from Normandy is still supported by Mercedes and Toto Wolff. Despite his cockpit with the Renault factory team, Ocon is managed by the Silver Arrows. “I’m still a Mercedes junior. The management side is still Mercedes. That hasn’t changed since 2015,” reveals Ocon.

The continuation of his Formula 1 career is currently unclear, and not just for Esteban Ocon. Ferrari jewel Oliver Bearman, who impressed in his guest appearance in Saudi Arabia, also thinks he has a chance for the 2025 season. You can read what the Brit had to say about his future in Imola in this article:

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