Alpine will have first call on Ocon’s future – Wolff

2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Alpine will have the first say on the future of Mercedes junior driver Esteban Ocon, according to Toto Wolff.

The Mercedes CEO said Ocon is in a “good situation” in his second year at the team, which was known as Renault last year.

Ocon, who is managed by Mercedes, has been considered a potential candidate for promotion to the team since spending his year out of a Formula 1 race seat as the team’s reserve driver.

But with Ocon enjoying success with Alpine in his second season with the Enstone-based team, Wolff admits that the ‘stars may have aligned’ for Ocon with his current team.

“With Esteban, it’s a little bit of a weird situation,” said Wolff.

“He’s been a Mercedes junior for a long time and he’s an Alpine works driver now – and that’s a fact. And I think the situation is good for him there – he’s growing, he’s putting in the performances, he’s French.

“I mean, all that is very much the stars aligning and I think it needs to be it needs to be Laurent [Rossi]’s and Esteban’s call first how to continue before we start to give an opinion.”

Williams driver George Russell, who is also a Mercedes junior, is considered first in line for a vacant seat at the team following his impressive performance as a substitute for Lewis Hamilton in last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix.

After qualifying in fifth on the grid in his Alpine for this afternoon’s Spanish Grand Prix, Ocon says he is focused on bringing his current team to the front.

“What I’m focusing on is to do a good job here at Alpine,” says Ocon. “I think we have to be glad with our progress. I’m glad with the progress I’ve made as well this year.

“I’m focusing on delivering the best I can every single race. For sure if you perform, there will be always talking and things going on. But my aim is to deliver for the team that I’m racing for. And my home is here at the moment.”

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2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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5 comments on “Alpine will have first call on Ocon’s future – Wolff”

  1. That’s an early start for the silly season!
    But I’m happy to see Esteban confirming the talent he showed when he was at Force India.

  2. RocketTankski
    9th May 2021, 10:20

    Ocon listened while the Toto laid it all down: Skynet, Judgment Day, the history of things to come.

  3. Translation: We really don’t want him

    1. Exactly my thoughts! :)

  4. I can see him stay at Alpine if he consistently outperforms and outscores Alonso throughout this season despite the possible threat from Gasly and F2 academy drivers.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Mercedes, after all, didn’t want to break the harmony by replacing Bottas (assuming HAM stays), which would be a disappointment for many, but a definite possibility among other options.

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