Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon are very happy with the new livery of their Formula 1 car in 2021. The Alpine...
Esteban Ocon has had to overcome many obstacles to get into Formula 1 and after a year out in 2019, he would have been pleased to have been back racing in 2020. Ocon had a mixed season but put in some good results in the second half of the season and even picked up a podium, finishing P2 at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
With Fernando Alonso joining the team for 2021, Ocon will hope to learn from the world champion and not get out performed by him too much which could cost him his future in the sport.
|Team||Alpine F1 team|
Max versus Esteban
His parents sold the parental home and travelled all over the world in a motorhome with their son. Father Ocon is a mechanic and soon witnessed that his child was special. Ocon excelled in go-karting, resulting in a French go-kart title, to then switch to Formula cars in 2012. In Formula Renault 2.0, Ocon finished third in his second year and took three wins in the process. In 2014, the Frenchman would really break through.
While part of the Netherlands would be interested in Max Verstappen, another name would also stand out in the 2014 Formula 3 championship: Esteban Ocon. The two were (and still are) big rivals and fought long for the championship. Ocon was the eventual winner, while Verstappen also had to put up with Tom Blomqvist in the final standings. Verstappen won the most races, but with nine victories, the Frenchman had enough for the title.
Whilst Verstappen moved to Formula 1, Ocon had to make do with a year in GP3. Ocon also won that championship and while he didn’t have any sponsors, he did manage to force a role as a test driver at Force India. In 2016, Ocon would choose not to opt for Formula 2, but would instead drive in the DTM with time to test for Mercedes and Renault, while it was announced that he would be included in the junior programme at Mercedes.
The many investments finally seemed to be worth it and by mid-2016, Esteban's dream would come true. The money of Rio Haryanto turned out to be gone, so Manor wanted another driver. With Mercedes as the engine supplier, the deal was quickly made that Ocon would accompany the other Mercedes protégé with the team that is last on the grid: Pascal Wehrlein.
Wehrlein had been driving in Mercedes training for some time, but is a bit of a 'difficult guy'. This turned out to be to an advantage for the young Frenchman when a spot at Force India became available for 2017. Wehrlein seemed to be the best option in terms of speed and experience, but the Force India team unanimously chose Ocon. The French talent seemed to have made an impression and was able to join Sergio Perez for a full-time season in 2017.
Young Ocon certainly didn’t have an easy time of it. Perez conjured every trick out of his hat and was certainly the better driver in 2017. In 2018 Ocon hit back in qualifying, but Perez was still often outsmarting him on race day. The podium in Azerbaijan showed what was possible in the Force India, but it was the Mexican who took off with the points.
A dark cloud would then form over Force India and Esteban Ocon in mid-2018. The race stable was taken over by Lawrence Stroll, assisted by Sergio Perez. The bag of money from the Mexican also played a part in the decision to let Perez keep his seat for 2019, because Lance Stroll had to have a place in his father's team.
Esteban Ocon ended 2018 without a seat for the next year, after Cyril Abiteboul did not want to miss the chance to bring Daniel Ricciardo in. A year later, the Renault team boss made up for it and gave him the drive instead of Nico Hulkenberg.
Latest Esteban Ocon news
Recap Abiteboul's Renault journey in under 3 minutes
Cyril Abiteboul has left Renault following their rebrand to Alpine. Here’s a timeline of Abiteboul’s...
Column | Alpine F1 must maximise chances in 2021 to reap 2022 rewards with Alonso
2021 was supposed to be a massive year for Formula 1, perhaps the biggest in a generation. The rule and regulation...
Ocon: "Conversations with Abiteboul helped me through difficult moments"
Esteban Ocon didn't always have an easy time in 2020 when he returned to Formula 1 after a year's absence. His...
Ocon on measuring up to teammates: "Unbelievable how he gets involved"
Esteban Ocon's eventful season had both highs and lows. Although by the end of the season he could start closing...
Ricciardo: 'Ocon is a bit similar to Max'
Daniel Ricciardo easily beat Esteban Ocon in the duels in 2020, but he was also able to learn from his young French...
FIVE Things To Look Out For In 2021 In Formula 1
We may have only just welcomed in the new year but we are already looking forward to the start of a new Formula...
2020: The Story of the CRAZIEST Formula 1 Season in History
2020 has been the most unbelievable year on record from January all the way through until December, each month...
Lammers doesn't think Perez victory is a 'big deal': "Too much praise"
Sergio Perez is now being brought in at Red Bull Racing as the man to take the team and Max Verstappen to the next...
'Renault comes in 2021 with a brand-new engine that has been worked on for years'
Renault will continue in 2021 under the name Alpine Racing and will do so with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon....
Prost surprised: 'Didn't expect us to be so good'
Alain Prost is very satisfied with 2020 when he looks at the progress made by Renault. The French brand just failed...
Abiteboul, despite leaving, praising Ricciardo: 'We will certainly miss him'
Daniel Ricciardo is leaving Renault after the conclusion of the 2020 Formula 1 season. While he won't have made...
Ocon grows within Renault: 'That's much better than at the beginning of the year'
Esteban Ocon is back in Formula 1, but he would've hoped for more in his first year back. The Frenchman dominated...
Webber: "He’s going to feel that again, I think, at McLaren next year"
If we are to believe Mark Webber, Daniel Ricciardo carried the Renault team in 2020. The Australian driver who...
Ocon puts himself back on Mercedes' radar: "We know what he can do"
At the moment all attention is focused on George Russell, but it was another Mercedes talent that was on the podium...
F1 Power Rankings: Verstappen grabs the lead in rankings
The five-member Formula 1 jury has once again shed its light on the past Grand Prix and awarded the drivers a mark....
Ocon denounces situation Perez: 'Sometimes the sport is like this'
Sergio Perez's place on the Formula 1 grid is up in the air with a switch to Red Bull his only real option. His...
Sainz missed podium by an inch: 'Sainz was on the hunt with fresh tyres'
Carlos Sainz started the Sakhir GP race in his McLaren and looked fast. After the restart on lap seven,...
Column | Broken Bottas must be replaced immediately by Russell
People who said that Formula 1 is boring will surely scratch their heads after the 2020 season. What a spectacle...
- Load more articles