Esteban Ocon’s Journey to Alpine

Published on 14 June 2024 at 20:00

Born in France, Esteban Ocon began his Formula One career in October 2014 as a test driver for Lotus F1 team.

From then on, he has drive for teams such as Renault and Force India and now has left his former team Alpine with questions of where he will be seated for the 2025 season.

After a somewhat successful debut drive for Lotus at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix a month later after his test drive, Force India came knocking at his door to offer him a drive at the pre-season testing in Barcelona in 2015.

He then entered the Mercedes Junior Team after claiming his GP3 title.

2016, and Ocon was announced as a reserve driver for Renault for the 2016 season and took part in several Friday practice sessions for the team.

Ocon was quick to snatch a seat at Manor Racing after Rio Haryanto was dropped for a lack of sponsor and drove for the second half of the season and made his official F1 debut at the Belgian Grand Prix finishing in sixteenth place. 
He didn’t stay at Manor for long as Ocon was announced to be sitting alongside Sergio Perez at Force India for the 2017 season on a multi-year contract with Mercedes.

Ocon managed to score his first points at the season opener in Australia where he went on to score points in the next four races.

The French driver continued to race with Force India alongside Perez for the 2018 season despite the financial issues that the team faced in the first half of the season with Lawrence Stroll purchasing the assets.

It was only until 2019, where Ocon moved over to join Renault so he thought, as the team unexpectedly signed Aussie Daniel Ricciardo leaving him without a seat.

Mercedes stepped in and made Ocon their reserve driver for the 2019 season but didn’t take part in any racing that year but Valtteri Bottas was deemed the favourite. 

Renault finally pulled through and Ocon joined the team for the 2020 season on a two-year contract replacing Nico Hulkenberg and partnering up with Ricciardo.

He ended the season twelfth in the Drivers’ Championship having scored 62 points.

From 2021 to 2024, Ocon has drove for Alpine after Renault’s rebranding starting alongside two-time world champion Fernando Alonso with Ricciardo leaving to join McLaren.

Former karting rival and fellow Frenchman Pierre Gasly, joined Alpine in 2022 replacing Alonso who moved over to Aston Martin.

After three riveting seasons with Alpine it was decided after this years Canadian Grand Prix, that Ocon would be leaving the team at the end of the season leaving fans wondering where he will go next and whether a seat will indeed become available for him next season.


Harley Parker

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