Esteban Ocon will remain with the Alpine Formula 1 team through 2024 after signing a three-year contract extension that “highlights the team’s belief in the Frenchman as a star of the sport.”
Alpine signed Ocon when it was under its previous guise of Renault, pairing him with Daniel Ricciardo last year and retaining him to race alongside Fernando Alonso in 2021. So far this season, Ocon has scored points in four out of six races and was comfortably ahead of Alonso in the standings before his retirement in Baku and the Spaniard’s sixth place, and the Frenchman says the team has provided him with an environment to show his potential.
“I’m delighted to continue with the team beyond this year and it’s a fantastic feeling to secure my future with Alpine,” Ocon said. “We’ve been progressing well together since I joined the team and I aim to continue that journey going forward.
“There are great challenges ahead of us, especially with the new regulations in 2022. I’m sure we can hit our targets by working hard together and continuing the story. I often think back to the Sakhir Grand Prix last year with the podium, and it motivates me to create more special memories like that.
“I’m really looking forward to the next chapter but, for now, we’re very much focused on this season and taking each race as it comes.”
The announcement comes ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix and Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi says Ocon’s value is not just to the Formula 1 team but to the brand as a whole.
“We are very proud to retain Esteban as part of the Alpine family,” Rossi said. “Since returning to the team in 2020, Esteban has grown in confidence and stature to deliver consistently good results and help develop the car with the team. Despite his young age, he is very experienced in Formula 1 and he’s on a positive trajectory in both his maturity and ability behind the wheel.
“He is a strong asset for us now, and also going forward as we meet the challenge of the new regulations. We have every confidence in Esteban to help drive the team and the brand to the next level and meet its long-term objectives.
“Esteban is an asset for us beyond F1 as he is deeply involved in the Alpine global project. Thanks to his personality and values, Esteban is naturally a perfect ambassador of Alpine. For now, we look forward to continuing the 2021 campaign at our home grand prix in France and doing the best possible job at every remaining race weekend.”
The contract ties up what was one of Mercedes’ young drivers until the 2024 season, effectively ruling him out as a replacement for either Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas in the near future.