Alpine Formula 1 driver Esteban Ocon will drive the Alpine A110S on the opening two stages of this year’s Monte Carlo rally as part of a Formula 1 brand activation.
The Frenchman drove for Renault last season and has been retained by the team alongside the returning Fernando Alonso as it undergoes a rebranding as Alpine. As part of the crossover, Ocon will be behind the wheel of the A110S sports car on Thursday as the official VIP course car.
That means Ocon will run the first two stages — SS1 and SS2 in the south of France — before the official World Rally Championship drivers tackle the event. His car will carry his F1 No. 31, and Ocon says it has always been an ambition to try out some rallying.
“This is a fantastic opportunity and I certainly cannot wait to experience Rallye Monte Carlo for the first time,” Ocon said. “It’s a legendary event, a jewel in the calendar of motorsport and I know how special being part of it will be.
“I’m looking forward to driving the beautiful Alpine A110S. I had my first taste of the A110 in October with three laps of the Nordschleife. It was great that day; very comfortable and agile to drive. It’s born for this kind of challenge with the tight hairpins and mountain passes. Rallying has actually always been a dream for me, so driving the A110S in Monte Carlo is a brilliant way to begin the year.”
Aside from Ocon’s demonstration, Alpine has five official entries in this year’s rally, all in the RGT class for the four-day season-opening event.