Esteban Ocon will go into this weekend’s French Grand Prix with the knowledge that his Formula 1 future is secured after it was announced that his contract with Alpine will be extended until 2024.
The Frenchman, who had a difficult comeback season in 2020 despite securing a second-place finish in Sakhir, came into the 2021 season with rumours swirling that his Formula 1 future could be in jeopardy, as Alpine was rumoured to be in talks with Pierre Gasly as well as potentially promoting Alpine juniors Guanyu Zhou and Oscar Piastri from Formula 2.
But after a strong start to the season which included four consecutive points finishes from the first six races, Ocon’s future looked to be safe after Alpine’s CEO Laurent Rossi revealed that the team wasn’t looking for any drivers for 2022 effectively ruling out Gasly.
“I’m delighted to continue with the team beyond this year and it’s a fantastic feeling to secure my future with Alpine,'' said Ocon. 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.
Rossi praised Ocon’s progress since returning to Formula 1, with the Alpine CEO regarding Ocon as a valuable asset to the team as they prepare for the new regulations in 2022.
“We are very proud to retain Esteban as part of the Alpine family. 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. “
Ocon’s signing means that Alpine’s lineup will remain the same until 2023 as Fernando Alonso will drive for the team in 2022 after signing a two-year contract with Renault in the summer of 2020.