The trait displayed by F1’s newest winner to earn Alpine’s trust
Alpine raised eyebrows when it awarded Esteban Ocon an unusual three-year contract. Even more so when his performances seemed to tail off once he had that contract in his pocket. Now, after Ocon brilliantly seized the moment to win in Hungary, Alpine’s decision seems to be vindicated. LUKE SMITH analyses why Ocon loosened his Mercedes ties to stick with ‘Team Enstone’
From the seasoned veteran to the hopeful debutant and all points on the career trajectory in between, stability is a commodity all Formula 1 drivers covet. For those looking to gain a foothold in F1 that usually means a manufacturer team’s junior academy or a wealthy benefactor – even the most talented prospect might not be able to flourish without powerful support and investment.
That’s something Esteban Ocon has rarely been able to rely on. He’s seen a lot that most Formula 1 drivers haven’t. He’s lived out of a caravan with his parents, who sold their family home to keep him karting. He’s faced uncertainty in junior series despite a stunning record (it is often overlooked that he beat Max Verstappen to the European F3 title). Twice in F1 he’s raced for teams operating on the edge of financial oblivion, and slipped through the cracks in the driver market as a result – at one point spending a year on the sidelines.
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
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
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.
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…
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…
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
Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot
OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023
Ricciardo: Too early for Norris/Verstappen F1 comparisons
F1 income continues to recover as spectators return to races