Where does Esteban Ocon land for 2025 after Alpine exit?

What is next for Esteban Ocon?

A week ago that question referenced whether Ocon would be in the A524 for Alpine this weekend, at the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix. An opening-lap crash with teammate Pierre Gasly in the Monaco Grand Prix brought warnings of “consequences” from Team Principal Bruno Famin, sparking speculation that Ocon would actually be benched for this weekend.

While his near-term prospects have been solidified, with Ocon confirming last week that he will be back in action in Montreal, his future is a bit more uncertain. Alpine and Ocon announced on Monday that the parties have agreed to “part ways” following the 2024 F1 season, and now the focus turns to what could be next for the experienced driver.

Despite the incident in Monaco, Ocon is one of the drivers on the current grid that can boast about a grand prix victory, with Ocon breaking through in the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix with his first F1 win. He has also shown an ability to deliver on the sport’s biggest stage, as evidenced by his tremendous qualifying effort in last year’s Monaco Grand Prix, which he followed with podium finish in the race itself.

Given that experience, where might he land next? Here are some options.

Mercedes

Ocon’s ties to Mercedes are well-known, and while this might be a long shot, a spot with the Brackley-based outfit is at least worth mentioning. Ocon was a member of the team’s junior program, and after starting his F1 career with Force India he returned to the Mercedes fold in 2019, spending a season as the team’s reserve driver when he did not have a ride for that campaign.

While Ocon landed with Renault (now Alpine) for the 2020 season he told ESPN back in 2020 that a spot with Mercedes was a consideration. “Very close, and until the last moment there were discussions,” said Ocon at the time regarding a move to Mercedes. “But that’s done now and I have to look ahead and what I have in front of me.”

Mercedes is certainly not without other options. The team has repeatedly been linked with Max Verstappen should he somehow become available, and young phenom Andrea Kimi Antonelli is also under consideration. And given that Ocon’s statement this morning — that he will announce his plans “very soon” — a move to Mercedes seems unlikely, given how Toto Wolff seems to be taking his time with the decision.

Unless the idea is to give Ocon a short-term deal at Mercedes while he keeps the seat warm for Antonelli.

Williams

If Mercedes is out, could Williams be a potential option?

The team has already reached agreement with Alexander Albon on a new “multi-year” deal, keeping Albon in the fold for 2025 and beyond. Logan Sargeant currently is their other driver, and there are expectations that Williams will replace Sargeant for 2025. There was rampant conjecture ahead of the Miami Grand Prix that the team might even seek a dispensation from the FIA to allow Antonelli to drive for the team ahead of his 18th birthday in August, and while Team Principal James Vowles dismissed those rumors, he has made it clear in recent weeks that Sargeant’s future with the team is anything but guaranteed.

Williams has also been linked with some other names on the grid, including Carlos Sainz Jr. and Valtteri Bottas. There is also the idea that Williams could be where Antonelli lands for 2025, and in that scenario Ocon could slide over to Mercedes on a short-term deal while the organization evaluates Antonelli for a move to Mercedes at some point.

Haas

In recent weeks Ocon has been linked to a potential move to Haas for 2025, as the team already knows one of their two seats is available next year. With current driver Nico Hülkenberg moving to Sauber for the 2025 season — ahead of that team becoming the Audi works organization in 2026 — at least one spot is available. Kevin Magnussen is also driving on an expiring contract, so theoretically both spots at Haas could be available.

Oliver Bearman, the Ferrari reserve driver who stepped in and delivered a phenomenal performance when Sainz was ruled out of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to an appendectomy, has long been linked with a move to Haas for 2025 on a full-time basis.

Bearman drove in FP1 for the team ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Would the team potentially pair the rookie with a veteran in Ocon?

Speaking ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Team Principal Ayao Komatsu indicated that Ocon was under consideration, along with various other drivers. “We are talking to some drivers,” Komatsu revealed to Danish outlet Ekstra Bladet, via Grand Prix.com. “I have no reason to close the door on anyone at this point. If someone comes to see us, has an interest in us, I will not close the door. Esteban [Ocon] is one of them, but one of many.”

Shortly after the Alpine announcement, noted F1 analyst Lawrence Barretto listed Haas as one of the potential landing spots for Ocon.

Along with the team we are about to discuss.

Sauber/Audi

Could Ocon land alongside Hülkenberg for 2025?

That is the other team reportedly in the mix for Ocon’s services. According to Barretto, both Sauber and Haas have been “chasing” Ocon for a while now. “Sauber/Audi and Haas have been chasing Ocon for several months now with both operations keen to bring a race winner with Ocon’s immense experience onboard as they look to build up their projects and become strong midfield contenders in the first instance,” wrote Barretto earlier today.

However, as Barretto notes Ocon might have competition with both teams — and stiff competition at that. Haas has also been in talks with Bottas for a spot in 2025, another driver with some F1 victories on his resume. As for Sauber/Audi, Sainz remains in consideration there, and Barretto indicates that the in-form Ferrari driver could be Sauber’s top option. “Even if [Ocon] has a history of having a challenging and tense time with his team mate, there’s no denying that he can be quick and get the job done,” wrote Barretto. “It’s why talks continue with Haas and Sauber/Audi regarding a multi-year deal from 2025. If it’s the former, he faces a fight with Bottas for the seat. If it’s the latter, he must wait until Sainz decides if he wants to take that birth.”

A non-F1 spot

Is there a chance Ocon is not on the grid next year at all?

This seems the least-likely option, given Ocon’s language on Monday morning. If he was going to make a move outside of the sport, it would seem that would come after all current options on the F1 grid are exhausted, and much later in the calendar year.

Yet with Ocon noting that he will announce plans “very soon,” this does not seem likely.

But until he announces a spot for 2025, we cannot take it off the table.

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