Alpine F1 Is Dropping Esteban Ocon for 2025

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Alpine F1 Will Drop Esteban Ocon After This YearQian Jun/MB Media - Getty Images

Last week, during the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, Esteban Ocon fell under intense scrutiny for a first-lap crash that broke one of auto racing's cardinal rules: Do not wreck your teammate. Eight days later — perhaps as a result, perhaps not — Ocon and the Alpine team have officially announced plans to part ways at the end of the 2024 season.

The decision — which is part of a larger driver marketplace and not necessarily directly tied to the crash, although the timing is certainly noteworthy — ends five years of Ocon racing at Alpine and its Renault predecessor. Ocon's time at Alpine has been rocky, but not without success; his win at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix was the first for any driver competing for Alpine or Renault in a decade. Still, he has otherwise struggled to both run consistently and secure top-level results, scoring just two other podiums and beating his teammate in the championship only once in the past four seasons.

Since 2023, an underlying story in the team has been his perceived internal rivalry with teammate Pierre Gasly. The crash at Monaco was just the worst outcome of many first-lap scuffles between the two French drivers — both of whom, as luck would have it, were born in Normandy just six months apart. Gasly narrowly outscored Ocon in a more competitive car last season, and this year, the pair are tied with one point each in a car that has proven incapable of competing near the middle of the grid on a consistent basis.


Alpine will now go on with Gasly, while Ocon will be free to sign with another team in the future. Among his options are potentially open seats at Sauber and Haas, two other programs that have struggled in 2024. Sauber, notably, will become the Audi factory team in 2026 and still has an open seat next to recent signing Nico Hülkenberg.

Ocon's soon-to-be former team will have no shortage of options of their own. Ferrari free agent Carlos Sainz Jr., Alpine development driver Jack Doohan, and current Alpine sports car driver Mick Schumacher are among the known options. Veterans like Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen are also free agents on an open 2024 driver's market, and 2022 and 2023 Formula 2 champions Felipe Drugovich and Theo Pourchaire may be available as well.

The early June decision gives both Ocon and Alpine time to publicly search for their next move and come to a decision before their best options are off the table. Until then, Ocon's job is to score points in the struggling Alpine wherever he can. He has just one point through the season's first eight races, which puts him at 16th in the driver's standings.

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