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Esteban Ocon to consider options beyond Alpine

Esteban Ocon is understood to be a valuable asset in the F1 driver market.

Only four months into 2024, there is no shortage of possibilities in the F1 driver market. Most of the grid is without contracts for next season, including the Alpine pairing of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly. Although there are still twenty Grand Prix left to dispute, the situation at Alpine is far from positive. The Enstone-based team is currently last in the standings, and their trajectory over recent years is clearly downward.

Esteban Ocon can be proud of his performances this year so far. Despite having an A524 machine that is lacking in almost every department, the Frenchman produced some strong performances. Consecutive Q2 appearances in Australia and Suzuka were largely thanks to Ocon producing stellar laps – rather than Alpine making significant progress. This was proven in both of his Q2 appearances, where the top 10 positions were far from reach.

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Alpine fail to progress

Having spent half a decade at Enstone, Ocon will be familiar with the inner workings of the team. Despite supposed ‘100-race plans’ and ambitious rhetoric off-track, Alpine has failed to challenge the established front runners. Considering that Aston Martin and McLaren have established themselves at the front (despite being customer teams) there is no excuse for Alpine’s stagnation.

To make matters worse, what could be described as underwhelming results in previous years has morphed into objectively disappointing ones in 2024.

Interest across the market

To be clear, most Formula 1 drivers are having talks throughout the paddock. Audi, for example, is considering a brand-new lineup for 2025 and beyond. Considering the list of free agents on the market, it is hardly a surprise that Ocon has been mentored. In this sense, speculation linking the Grand Prix winner to Audi should not be taken in context.

Still, reports dating back to January document the 27-year-old as an Audi driver of interest. Beyond this, more recent information suggests that Ocon is open to looking at seats elsewhere on the grid as Alpine continue to struggle. In recent weeks, F1 news headlines have reported that Alpine could be open to selling. Whilst the team denies this, such speculation speaks volumes about the severity of their situation.

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Esteban Ocon mentions Mercedes ties

When the first concerns about Alpine’s package emerged during the winter break, Ocon was already angling for a Mercedes seat. He reminded the media that he is still technically affiliated with the Silver Arrows. More than in recent seasons, midfield drivers have the potential for upward mobility. Several teams have vacancies for 2025.

For someone like Ocon, this year is an opportunity to improve his position ahead of a critical 2026 regulation change. Of course, some alternatives might be little more than a sideways step from Alpine. Even Audi, for example, has no guarantee of becoming a top team in the near future. Still, conversations gauging interest across the paddock will still take place.


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