GRR

Ocon to leave Alpine ahead of 2025 Formula 1 season

03rd June 2024
Ethan Jupp

Esteban Ocon will depart Alpine at the end of the 2024 Formula 1 season, it has been confirmed. The 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix winner has been with team Enstone since 2019, with his departure ending a five-year relationship with the team.

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“It’s been a significant period of my life to be racing at this team in Formula 1,” Ocon said in a statement. “While I’ve been here for five years as a full-time racing driver, my professional career started at Enstone back when I was a teenager, so it will always be a special place for me.

“We have had some great moments together, some tough moments as well, and I am certainly grateful to everyone at the team for these memorable times. I will announce my plans very soon but, in the meantime, my full focus is on delivering on track for this team and having a successful remainder of the season.”

Ocon and Alpine’s break is a clean one, with the driver’s current contract with the team coming to an end at the end of 2024, anyway. In addition to his win at Hungary in 2021 – the first and so far only for the team in its current form – Ocon scored podiums at both Sakhir in 2020 and Monaco in 2023.

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Arguably Ocon’s troubles truly began at the beginning of the 2023 season, when Alpine signed Piere Gasly at the last minute to replace the departing Fernando Alonso. This marked the start of a tumultuous 18 months, through which the team has been underperforming in terms of its machinery and suffering in terms of appointments. 

The team famously lost Oscar Piastri to McLaren because of a contractual misunderstanding, which was shortly followed by a number of high-level movements, including the ousting of Team Principal Opmar Szafnauer and sporting director Alan Permane in July 2023. 

In terms of drivers, Ocon endured as the team pivoted to sign Piere Gasly, though his and Ocon’s fraught history of clashes overshadowed what ought to have been a celebrated all-French lineup.

It was a history the two wasted no time in adding to, either, with a collision at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix. That set the precedent for an at-best-uneasy working relationship that came to a head at Monaco in 2024 with yet another collision. Ocon collided with Gasly on the first lap, earning him a five-place grid penalty at the Canadian Grand Prix this coming weekend.

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The incident fuelled rumours that Ocon would not retain his seat at Alpine beyond 2024, with Alpine boss Bruno Famin saying “we will draw the consequences”. It’s understood however that the move to part with Ocon was not a knee-jerk response to Monaco, rather the conclusion to a longer-term discussion about his future.

In terms of what’s next, Ocon has indicated more details will be revealed “soon,” while Alpine has said it will announce its 2025 driver lineup “in due course.”

Ocon’s options will be limited, with an upward move from Alpine unlikely. That leaves Haas, Sauber, and Williams in the ballpark of teams where he is likely to be in the running for a seat, if at all, for 2025 and beyond. As for who will replace Ocon at Alpine? Everyone from Valtteri Bottas to Carlos Sainz are free agents in 2025, so it’s anyone’s guess. 

  • Formula 1

  • Alpine

  • Esteban Ocon

  • F1

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