Esteban Ocon's career so far

16-06-2021 16:46
General
Esteban Ocon's career so far

Esteban Ocon has signed a new three-year deal that will keep him at Alpine until 2024, with the team impressed with how he has progressed since joining the team ahead of the 2020 season. But how did Ocon get here?

Born on September 17 1996, Ocon experienced a very different upbringing to many on the Formula 1 grid. Unlike drivers such as Nicholas Latifi, Nikita Mazepin and Lance Stroll, among others, Ocon didn't come from a wealthy family, with his father working simply as a mechanic. However, thanks to his father's job, Ocon was surrounded by cars from an early age, and a love affair began. 

He began karting in 2006, but to fund his career, his parents sold their family home travelled all over the world in a motorhome. Ocon quickly experienced success, and moved up to Formula cars in 2012.

He then broke onto the big stage in 2014 when he won the Formula 3 championship, beating out Max Verstappen to take victory. Whilst Verstappen moved for Formula 1, Ocon moved to GP3 and won the championship once more, without any sponsors, an incredible achievement.

In 2016, he moved to DTM instead of Formula 2 so that he could test for Mercedes and Renault, and it was through this that he was rewarded with an inclusion in the Mercedes junior programme.

With the backing of Toto Wolff, Ocon was able to secure a seat at Force India for the 2017 season, to partner Sergio Perez. He finished eighth in his rookie season, and did enough to secure a seat for 2018.

The following year he ended the seaon in P12, and with Lawrence Stroll taking over the team, and bringing his son Lance with him, Ocon was dropped.

He was unable to find a permanent seat in the sport, so spent the 2019 season as Mercedes' reserve driver. With the help of Wolff, however, he was able to join Renault for 2020, replacing Nico Hulkenburg.

After a year out of the sport, Ocon initially struggled alongside Daniel Ricciardo, but grew into things as the season progressed. He ended the year in 12th, 57 points behind Ricciardo, but managed to secure his first F1 podium when he finished second at the Sakhir Grand Prix.

Parterned with Fernando Alonso for 2021, Ocon has impressed enough to be rewarded with a new long-term deal at Alpine, which has ruled out a potential move to Mercedes to replace Valtteri Bottas. However, with Alpine aiming to close the gap to the top teams, Ocon could be the perfect driver to guide them there.

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