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Esteban Ocon emerges as contender for surprise move

Ocon is receiving interest from a rival F1 team ahead of 2025.

Esteban Ocon is reportedly a possible option for Audi, who are still formulating their 2024 lineup. The Frenchman is in the final year of his Alpine contract, having spent half a decade at Team Enstone. The last few months have been difficult for the French outfit, who are yet to score points this season.

In the context of this underperformance, the 27-year-old might explore alternatives on the grid. After all, this is not the first time Alpine has fallen short of expectations.

Well before pre-season testing in Bahrain, there were signs that Alpine could expect a disappointing campaign. When news broke that the A524 failed its first FIA crash tests, the response was fairly limited. This is understandable since it is not uncommon for teams to repeat this evaluation.

However, it was – in retrospect – the first major obstacle in the team’s 2024 development. Many of the A524’s issues (such as its excess weight) can be traced back to this early complication.

A few weeks later, Esteban Ocon made some revealing comments to the media. During the team’s February launch, he was asked about his thoughts on Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari. Although he still outlined a level of commitment to Alpine, Ocon made no secret of his “strong” Mercedes ties.

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Ocon a driver of interest for Audi

Sauber recently announced their contract agreement with Nico Hulkenberg, putting together the first piece of the puzzle ahead of 2026. Audi already owns the Swiss-based outfit and has begun stamping their authority on driver selection.

Carlos Sainz is the other priority target for Audi, who are eager to sign the Ferrari driver. However, there is no guarantee the Spaniard will join the German manufacturer. Only recently, Sainz’s agent revealed that several options are still being looked at.

Assuming that Sainz pursues a contract with Red Bull or Mercedes, Sauber has several possibilities. Among them, of course, is the retention of either Zhou Guanyu or Valtteri Bottas. However, reports indicate that Audi is likely to field an all-new pairing next season – regardless of Sainz’s response to their offer.

In this scenario, Esteban Ocon is understood to be a target for the Hinwil-based squad. Considering the trajectory shown at Alpine in recent months, a change in teams is not unrealistic. The recent information from f1-insider confirms what has been speculated for some time – Ocon is a valuable asset.

Of course, Audi is not necessarily an improvement on Bruno Famin’s team. They are still an unknown quantity, so their performance with fresh regulations in 2026 cannot be easily predicted. Still, Ocon can be expected to – at the very least – probe interest across the field.

Alpine are not oblivious to the danger that they could lose their drivers. Their team principal has explained that junior drivers like Jack Doohan are ready – should either Ocon or Gasly look elsewhere. Of course, the French squad does not want to lose their current lineup. However, their poor performance makes them a less attractive option,

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