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Alpine F1 team didn’t wait for Hamilton move to start driver talks

Alpine Formula 1 team principal Bruno Famin says that the Enstone outfit was talking to its current drivers about 2025 before Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari stirred up the market.

Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon, Alpine

Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon, Alpine

Alpine

Hamilton’s decision to leave Mercedes for Maranello in 2025 and extended deals for Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris at their respective Ferrari and McLaren teams were the first steps in what is expected to be a busy silly season.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly are among the many drivers on the current grid who not yet committed for 2025 and beyond.

Should it have a vacancy, Alpine has the opportunity to promote reserve driver Jack Doohan, who will undertake a busy programme of private testing with a 2022 car this year.

Ocon has past connections to Mercedes and thus is an obvious candidate for Toto Wolff’s list of possible replacements for Hamilton.

Bruno Famin, Executive Director - Viry-Chatillon, Alpine F1 Team, in the Team Principals Press Conference

Bruno Famin, Executive Director - Viry-Chatillon, Alpine F1 Team, in the Team Principals Press Conference

Photo by: Motorsport Images

However, Famin insists that the seven-time world champion’s move was not a trigger for internal conversations at Alpine.

“We have not waited for Hamilton going to Ferrari to talk to our drivers,” he said. “We are talking permanently to our drivers.

“I'm very happy with the relationship with have with them, with the communication we have with them, and the job they are doing. And we regularly talk to them, we talked before Hamilton and after.

“To be honest we all of course have a look on the drivers' market. We have also our academy, and it is our duty to see what is going on, to know what is going.

“We're on that, but there is no decision at all yet. And our priority is much more focused on developing the car and the team, and we are the confident with our drivers."

Asked by Autosport if it was important for the team to end any uncertainty by signing up its current drivers Famin suggested that there was no urgency.

“They know what we think, they know also how F1 works,” he said. “There is no duplicity. And that's why it's important to talk regularly to each other, to put everything on the table.

“Again, I think we're happy with them. Let's wait for the first race and the performance of the car, but I understand they're happy with the team. Let's talk a bit later about that."

Gasly confirmed that the team has started talks about the future.

"They [Alpine] did already [start talks],” he said. “So it's obviously an ongoing process, and we have conversations."

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