Jun.6 - Mercedes has confirmed Esteban Ocon's claim that he remains a part of the German marque's Formula 1 driver development program.

Well before Alpine announced that the French driver will leave the team at the end of the year, Ocon - also personally managed by Toto Wolff - insisted he is "still a Mercedes junior driver".

So as the 27-year-old now tries to keep his F1 career alive, Le Mag Sport Auto asked Mercedes if Ocon is an option to be paired with George Russell next year.

"No official comment to give on this," the spokesperson answered. "As you can imagine, we don't comment on every bit of speculation that arises.

"What I can say is that Esteban continues to be supported by Mercedes and we will work with him to ensure the best opportunity for the next phase of his career."

For his part, Ocon is now in Canada for the weekend's grand prix in Montreal, declaring: "A lot has been said in recent days, so I am very much looking forward to driving again and getting back out on track."

Another open question, with Pierre Gasly appearing very likely to sign a new contract with Alpine for 2025, is who he will be paired with.

Ocon will be on the sidelines in opening practice on Friday as reserve Jack Doohan drives his car. "We have decided to use the first mandatory young driver free practice 1 with Jack Doohan in the car in place of Esteban, giving him the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the A524," Alpine confirmed.

"I want to be on the grid in 2025," the 21-year-old son of Australian motorcycling legend Mick Doohan said. "So I'll keep working and making sure that when I'm in the car it's performing, whether it's FP1 or testing."

A less likely signing would be Mick Schumacher, despite the fact that the legendary Michael Schumacher's son is already a part of Alpine's Le Mans team.

"Bruno Famin says that he is very happy with what Mick is doing," Mick's uncle, Ralf Schumacher, told formel1.de.

"But it has to be said - if it doesn't work out for him this year, it will probably be quite difficult," the former grand prix winner admitted.

"So I think it doesn't matter which car or team is available. In his position, every car is a good one."

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2 F1 Fan comments on “Alpine's Ocon Looks Ahead After Mercedes Reaffirms Their Support

  1. Jere Jyrälä

    When will people realize that being managed by a single individual, & being formally & literally involved with a given team are two different things, no different from Bottas pre-2017 & again as of last year, or Briatore-managed drivers who didn't drive for Team Enstone at all or at a certain point (Alonso in 2007), for that matter, as well as that the word 'junior' is inapplicable forever?
    The most important thing, though, is that Antonelli is effectively all but confirmed to become Hamilton's direct successor, not that Ocon has even been a true contender (or among them) at any point since the departure announcement in February, which is why milking this matter, i.e., mentioning him in these team-specific driver market contexts over & over again is pointless.

  2. shroppyfly

    This is the first time ive read it as a statement from "Mercedes" that he a junior driver/development driver with the team, if i could be arsed id hunt for it in official Merc paperwork/site, but the fact is I Cant lol


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