Alpine: No Mercedes exit clauses in Ocon's new three-year F1 deal

Alpine boss Laurent Rossi has clarified there are no exit clauses within Esteban Ocon’s new three-year Formula 1 contract that would allow Mercedes to sign him.

Alpine: No Mercedes exit clauses in Ocon's new three-year F1 deal

Alpine announced on Wednesday that Ocon had agreed a new long-term deal that would keep him with the team until the end of the 2024 season.

Ocon said on Thursday that he maintained “connections” with Mercedes, who also serves as his management, but that he was otherwise “fully with Alpine”.

Ocon had previously been a member of Mercedes’ young driver programme, and was even in contention for a seat with the German manufacturer’s senior F1 squad in 2020 before ultimately joining Renault, which later became Alpine.

Speaking in Friday’s FIA press conference, Alpine CEO Rossi clarified that Ocon’s contract stretched for three years and had no clauses that could be triggered to allow for a move to Mercedes.

“He is a Mercedes managed driver, that's about it,” Rossi said.

“So he's constantly under their management, but there's no such clause [for] Mercedes [to] put him out of the team.

“No, he stays with us for the next three years.”

Ocon has impressed in the early part of his second full season with the Enstone-based squad, scoring points in four of the five races he has finished.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

His performances played a part in Alpine’s move to open talks early and get a deal sewn up before the summer break, with Rossi drawing comparisons in his approach to that of four-time world champion Alain Prost.

“He is a great fine tuner, he reminds me a lot of Alain,” Rossi said.

“He is very good at extracting the maximum out of the car, and it shows, constantly improving. He is damn fast too - give him any car he is fast, and he shows it every qualy. So that makes him a very good driver.

“He is a good team-mate. He is good with the rest of the team. When I say team-mate it is not just to other driver, also the rest of the team. He is basically pushing everyone up. He is a great guy to have in the team.”

Read Also:

Rossi explained that the three-year deal was agreed in a bid to fall in line with the regulation cycle that starts in 2022, not wishing to see a driver leave early.

“It’s a three-year regulation period that opens up next year,” Rossi said.

“We have a mid-to-long-term view of things at Renault. We want to be here for a long time, so we wanted to secure that first step.

“The first step is three years. We’ve seen enough of Esteban, we know he is good. I don't want to be here again, looking for another driver after two years. Recent past showed that it never really turns the right way - [if] you have a good driver, you want to keep them.

“So I think it's good for us, it's good for him. We have a long, long way to make progress, he buys into the project, and adds credibility to our project.

“For me it's also a guarantee that we're going to perform on the driver department. Esteban is arguably a top-10 driver minimum. So, we don't make a big mistake here.

“For me it was a no brainer. It's part of a long journey and Esteban fits into that mould quite well."

shares
comments

Related video

How Ferrari has managed to keep proving Leclerc wrong
Previous article

How Ferrari has managed to keep proving Leclerc wrong

Next article

F1 French GP: Verstappen tops FP2 from Bottas and Hamilton

F1 French GP: Verstappen tops FP2 from Bottas and Hamilton
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022