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Formula 1 Canadian GP

F1 driver market: Who could replace Esteban Ocon at Alpine in 2025?

Esteban Ocon and Alpine have announced they will part ways at the end of the 2024 season, confirming that at least one of the team’s seats will be up for contention next year.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team, in the garage

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The announcement that Ocon will be out of his seat comes a week after the Frenchman caused a collision with his team-mate Pierre Gasly during the first lap of the Monaco Grand Prix. Alpine’s team principal Bruno Famin warned “there would be consequences”, with many expecting the team to have a driver line-up change for the Canadian Grand Prix 

It is understood that the decision to part ways with Ocon was not entirely based on the Monaco crash, but did impact the team’s final decision. The 27-year-old’s contract was set to expire at the end of this season, making his seat one of 10 that will be up for contention for 2025.

Ocon joined the then-Renault team in 2020, taking his only win the following year at the Hungarian GP and two further podium finishes during his time with the Enstone-based team. In an announcement on social media platform X, Ocon said : “I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have achieved the things I did with this team, from my first podium to my first win in Formula 1. These achievements truly were dreams come true. “

Ocon has said he will announce his future plans “very soon” but will continue to drive for Alpine until the end of the year. His next move is unknown, although Haas is reportedly interested in Ocon as an experienced team-mate alongside the potential signing of rookie Ollie Bearman.

He is also understood to be considering a move to Sauber if Carlos Sainz decides to reject the offer from the soon-to-be Audi team. The outgoing Ferrari driver is currently weighing up several contract options, including Audi and Williams.

Although no official announcement has been made, Alpine will likely renew their contract with Ocon’s team-mate Pierre Gasly for the next season.

Who could replace Esteban Ocon at Alpine?

Alpine will now be looking at who can replace Esteban Ocon for the 2025 season. There are 10 seats still available across the grid, with many drivers’ contracts set to expire at the end of the year.

Jack Doohan

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Current team: Alpine (reserve driver)
Best F2 Championship position: 3rd (2023)

One of the most likely candidates to replace Ocon is the team’s reserve driver Jack Doohan. He made his single-seater debut in 2018 in the British F4 Championship, dovetailing his full season in British F4 with appearances in the Italian and ADAC Formula 4 championships that same year. He progressed into Asian F3 and Euroformula Open in 2019, finishing second and 11th respectively.

Doohan joined the HWA Racelab line-up in Formula 3 in 2020 but struggled through that first season, picking up a best finish of 11th and scoring zero points, before moving to Trident the year after and taking home second in the drivers’ standings alongside three wins. The 21-year-old moved to F2 and spent two full seasons competing, taking home six wins and 11 podium finishes.

In 2022, an impressive performance saw Doohan finish 3rd in the championship, including three wins in Hungary, Belgium and Abu Dhabi.

Doohan joined Alpine in 2022 when he joined the team’s academy line-up, which included test-driving the F1 car. In 2023, during his final year in F2, the Australian was announced as a reserve driver for Alpine and took part in test drives throughout the season, including practice sessions at the Mexico City and Abu Dhabi grands prix.

He has since put his full focus into the 2024 season with Alpine, which includes testing the A522 and simulator testing, to help the team make improvements to the car.

Mick Schumacher

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Current team: Alpine WEC driver
F1 races: 43
F1 points: 12
Best F2 Championship position: 1st (2020)
Championship titles: F3 European Championship (2018), F2 Championship (2020)

Mick Schumacher could get a second chance at a Formula 1 seat with his connections to the Alpine team. Schumacher is currently the reserve driver for Mercedes and McLaren and has held the role since the start of the 2023 season.

The German driver is a previous race winner in Formula 4 and won both the 2018 European F3 championship and the 2020 F2 title. The son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher then joined the Haas F1 team before being dropped at the end of the 2022 season.

Schumacher had a disappointing two seasons with the American team, only scoring points at two races in 2022. He was unable to reach the top 10 in 42 other races, including retiring his car five times.

Schumacher has since worked with Alpine, testing their Endurance prototype in 2023, before being signed to join the 2024 Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship for the Enstone-based team.

Following the announcement, Schumacher said: “A new chapter is beginning for me with Alpine in the WEC Hypercar category. The car is impressive, and I can't wait to get started. I've grown up with single-seaters, so driving a car with a closed cockpit and covered wheels is a great opportunity to hone my driving skills.

“Endurance racing is a new challenge for me, and I'm sure we will share great moments together next year with Alpine."

Zhou Guanyu

Photo by: Sauber

Current team: Sauber
F1 races: 52
F1 points: 12
Best F2 Championship position: 6th
Championship titles: F3 Asian Championship (2021)

Zhou Guanyu has also been linked to a potential move to Alpine, as his contract with Sauber expires at the end of the 2024 season. Sauber has already signed Nico Hulkenberg into one of the team’s seats for the upcoming season but is yet to announce which - if either - of its two current drivers will remain with the team.

The Chinese driver is a former member of the Alpine Academy, serving as a test driver for the team in 2020 and 2021. He’s had a fairly disappointing few years in F1 where he has finished 18th in the championship for the last two years and scored only six points finishes in 52 starts.

Before moving up into Formula 1, Zhou spent three years in F2, before claiming the F3 Asian championship in 2021.

F1 drivers without a seat at the end of 2024

Photo by: Ferrari

There is still half the current F1 grid without seats going into next season, that could all be considering a potential move to Alpine. Drivers whose contracts expire at the end of the year include:

  • Carlos Sainz
  • Sergio Perez
  • Daniel Ricciardo
  • Yuki Tsunoda
  • Kevin Magnussen
  • Logan Sargeant
  • Pierre Gasly
  • Esteban Ocon
  • Zhou Guanyu
  • Valtteri Bottas

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