Haas targets this F1 driver: 'He's got lots of experience and is young'

F1 News

Ocon on the radar for Haas and Komatsu
8 June at 16:02
Last update 8 June at 16:17
  • Sophia Crothall

Currently, there is an empty seat at Haas F1, with Nico Hulkenberg leaving the team for Sauber at the end of the 2024 season. It is also yet to be confirmed whether Kevin Magnussen will remain with the team for next year. Speaking to Sky Sports F1, team principal Ayao Komatsu confirmed that Esteban Ocon is on the team's radar for next year. 

On Friday, Komatsu alluded that the team could be signing reserve driver Oliver Bearman, after seeing his performance in both F2 and F1, when he replaced Carlos Sainz at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Bearman finished 7th, ahead of both Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton. The Japanese team boss says he is looking to mix "youth and experience" to give the team an "exciting combination" for next season. 

'He's one of the several I am seriously considering'

The Haas team boss has now also hinted that Ocon is on the team's radar, after it was announced he would be leaving Alpine at the end of the season. For Komatsu, the Frenchman offers the perfect combination: youth and experience. "He's got a lot of experience," he said. "He's a race winner. He's got podium finishes and socred many points. He worked with a few different teams so he's got lots of experience, which is what we are looking for."

Ocon has worked with the likes of Manor, Force India and Mercedes during his F1 career. He then made the move to Renault in 2020, achieving his first F1 podium. During his time with the team, which became Alpine in 2021, he also achieved his maiden victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix. For Komatsu, this wealth of experience, combined with his youth, is attractive: "He's only 27. He's still very young. And then I think his commitment and work ethic is really, really good. I'm talking with several of the current F1 drivers, experienced guys, as well as some of the young drivers, F1 drivers. So he's definitely one of the several I'm considering seriously."