Esteban Ocon is a French racing driver currently racing for Alpine F1 Team in Formula One. Ocon made his debut in Formula One racing for Manor Racing in the Belgian Grand Prix in 2016.
Esteban Ocon was born on 17 September 1996, to Sabrine Khelfane and Laurent Ocon in Évreux, Normandy, France. Before his signing with Alpine, Ocon was a part of the Mercedes-Benz driver development programme. He earned his first podium in Formula One while driving for Renault at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix when he finished second, and scored his first F1 win in 2021 when he won the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Esteban Ocon’s Career Before Formula 1
Although Esteban Ocon started karting at an early age supported by his mechanic father, he entered his first race national competition in 2006. He finished eighth in the 2006 French Minime Championship and won the championship in 2007. In 2008, Ocon competed in the cadet category and won the French Cadet Championship.
Ocon started competing in KF3 Kart Racing in 2009. He raced in the category winning the French KF3 Championship in 2011. That year, Ocon also finished runner-up in the 2011 WSK Euro Series. Noting Ocon’s success in karting, Gravity Sports management, a sister concern of the Renault F1 Team signed him at the age of 14.
Formula Renault (2012-2014)
In 2012, Kioranen Motorsport gave Ocon to race in single-seaters cars. In his first entry in the Eurocup Renault Formula 2.0, Ocon’s finished Renault earned his first podium finish at his home ground at Le Castellet. He finished the competition in fourteenth place with four point-scoring finishes.
He also competed in a part of the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps with Kioranen and finished seventh and earned two podium positions at the Red Bull Ring. Driving for the ART Junior Team in 2013, Ocon took three podiums including his first victory at Le Castellet. He also drove for Comtec Racing in World Series in Renault 3.5, scoring two points in his first race at the Hungaroring.
Formula 3, GP3 and DTM (2014-2015)
Ocon first competed in Formula 3 with Prema Racing in the Macau Grand Prix. Thereafter, still driving for Prema Racing, Ocon contested in the FIA European Formula Three Championship. Hook a lead in the first round at Silverstone and won the Championship with one round still to go. He took 21 podium places including 9 victories in the championship.
In 2015, Ocon decided to compare in the GP3 Series with the ART Junior Team. He won his first race in Catalunya. Thereafter, he secured podium positions in every race in the series except three retirements and one disqualification. He won the series with only one victory and bettering his challenger, Luca Ghiotto’s score by eight points.
Mercedes recruited Estaban Ocon’s services to drive for them in the 2016 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters Season. Ocon raced for the in the first six rounds of the season. He also served as a reserve driver for Renault Sport F1 till his transfer to Manor Racing.
Esteban Ocon’s Career In Formula 1
In October 2014 Esteban Ocon had test-driven a Formula One car for the Lotus F1 Team for two days. Later, in November, Lotus invited him to make his debut on a race weekend Grand Prix debut in the first practice session in Abu Dhabi. In 2015, Force India called upon Ocon to test drive at after the race in Barcelona due to the withdrawal of one of their drivers.
When Ocon was racing in the 2015 GP3, the Mercedes F1 Team had signed up Ocon in the Mercedes driver development programme. Renault appointed him as a reserve driver for the Renault F1 Team during the 2016 season in February 2016. Ocon participated in four FP1 sessions for the team.
Ocon made his debut for the Manor Racing Team in the Belgian Grand Prix replacing Rio Haryanto. Partnering Pascal Wehrlein, Ocon finished 16th in the race. It was in the Brazilian Grand Prix of the 2016 season that he got his best results. He finished 12th in the race dropping out of the top ten on the final lap.
Force India (2017-2018)
Force India confirmed that they had signed Ocon for the 2017 season in November 2016 apart of his on-going contract with Mercedes. With Sergio Pérez as his partner, Ocon scored his first World Championship points in the inaugural race, the Australian Grand Prix, finishing 10th. He had 10th place finishes in the first three races of the season.
In the Russian Grand Prix Ocon finished 7th and did even better in Spain finishing 5th. After the Austrian Grand Prix, Ocon stood 8th in the drivers’ rankings. After a 9th place finishes in Belgian, he had a collision with Sergio Pérez, ending his partner’s race. His run of 27 consecutive races ended with an accident in Brazil in the first lap. Ocon finished eighth in the 2017 season.
In the 2018 season, Ocon scored his first point in the Bahrain Grand Prix, finishing in 10th place. A first-lap collision with Kimi Räikkönen ended his race in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Although Ocon retired in the Spanish Grand Prix with an oil leak, he earned fifth and ninth place finishes in Monaco and Canada. He again had a first-lap collision in France and was forced to retire.
Force India had financial problems during the summer break and was put into administration. A consortium led by Lawrence Stroll purchased Force India. Amid speculation that Lance Stroll, Lawrence Stroll’s son would replace Ocon, the consortium announced that they would retain the same two drivers. Ocon promptly qualified 3rd and finished second in the race in Belgium.
Following a sixth-place finish in Italy, Ocon and Perez collided in Singapore ending their races. Ocon’s eight-place finish in the USA was disqualified for exceeding fuel flow limits. A collision in Brasil with Max Verstappen, the race leader who was trying to lap Ocon, and a reprimand from the FIA later, Ocon finished the season in the 12th place.
Mercedes, Reserve Driver (2019)
At the end of 2018, Force India was renamed as Racing Point and Ocon was replaced by Lance Stroll. Even though Ocon had a formal agreement with Renault for the 2019 season, Renault signed on Daniel Ricciardo, putting Ocon’s future in Formula One racing in jeopardy. In November 2018, Mercedes announced that Ocon would be their reserve driver in 2019.
Though Ocon was on standby, he could not race during a race weekend during the 2019 season. He was due to replace Valtteri Bottas and race alongside Lewis Hamilton. However, Mercedes chose to continue with Valtteri Bottas for the 2020 season.
In August 2019, Renault announced that Esteban Ocon will race for them in the 2020 Formula One season. Ocon was to partner Daniel Ricciardo and replace Nico Hülkenberg. Ocon secured the only podium Position of his Formula One career finishing second at the Sakhir Grand Prix. He finished the championship in 12th place.
Esteban Ocon competed for the Alpine F1 Team in the 2021 season, alongside teammate Fernando Alonso. The team, rebranded from Renault to Alpine for the 2021 season, aimed to build on their previous successes and establish themselves further up the midfield, with aspirations of challenging for podiums.
The 2021 season was a significant one for Ocon, marked by strong performances, consistent point finishes, and a remarkable maiden Formula 1 victory. Ocon’s adaptability and growth as a driver were evident, contributing significantly to Alpine’s campaign in the Constructors’ Championship.
Maiden Victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix
- The highlight of Ocon’s season was his first Formula 1 win at the Hungarian Grand Prix. In a chaotic race affected by wet conditions at the start and a first-lap multi-car collision, Ocon found himself in the lead after the restart. A solid strategy from Alpine and Ocon’s composed driving under pressure from Sebastian Vettel ensured he maintained the lead until the checkered flag, securing his and Alpine’s first win of the season.
Consistent Points Finishes
- Throughout the season, Ocon delivered consistent performances, scoring points in multiple races. His ability to capitalize on the car’s potential and extract the maximum in various conditions was a key factor in Alpine’s points tally.
- Aside from his win in Hungary, Ocon had several notable performances. His ability to engage in close midfield battles, often coming out ahead of his direct competitors, showcased his racing prowess.
- Ocon’s qualifying performances were also commendable, with several appearances in Q3, demonstrating his and the car’s pace over a single lap.
- Despite the high points, Ocon faced challenges, including races where he struggled with the car’s pace relative to the competition. In some instances, strategic decisions did not play out as expected, affecting his race results.
- The internal team battle with Fernando Alonso was a significant aspect of Ocon’s season. Alonso’s return to Formula 1 added pressure but also provided a benchmark for Ocon, pushing him to elevate his performance.
- Ocon’s relationship with Alonso was competitive yet productive, with both drivers pushing each other and contributing to the team’s development. Their collaboration helped Alpine in refining their strategies and car development throughout the season.
- Ocon finished the season strongly, contributing crucial points to Alpine’s fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship. His maiden win was a standout moment, not just for the season but for his career, underscoring his potential as a race winner in Formula 1.
- The 2021 season represented a significant step forward for Ocon, establishing him as a key player within the team and the sport.
Esteban Ocon’s 2021 season was a testament to his resilience, talent, and determination. With a maiden Grand Prix victory under his belt, the season marked Ocon’s emergence as a formidable force in Formula 1, setting the stage for his future in the sport.
Esteban Ocon continued with the Alpine F1 Team for the 2022 season, alongside his teammate Fernando Alonso. After securing his first Formula 1 victory in 2021, expectations were high for Ocon to continue his upward trajectory and consistently challenge for points and podiums, especially with the introduction of new technical regulations aimed at making the racing more competitive.
Season Overview: The 2022 season presented a fresh challenge for all teams and drivers due to the significant changes in car design and aerodynamics regulations. Alpine aimed to build on their 2021 performance and solidify their position in the midfield, with aspirations of challenging the top teams when opportunities arose.
Key Highlights and Results:
- Consistent Points Finishes: Ocon delivered a series of consistent performances throughout the season, regularly finishing in the points. His ability to maximize the car’s potential in races, often outperforming its qualifying pace, was a highlight of his season.
- Team Dynamics: The dynamic between Ocon and Alonso was closely watched, with both drivers pushing each other and contributing to the team’s development. Their collaboration helped Alpine in their battle for points in the constructors’ championship.
- Challenges: Despite showing flashes of speed, Ocon and Alpine faced challenges in keeping pace with the rapid development of other midfield teams. Qualifying pace, in particular, was an area where Ocon often sought improvements to enhance his race prospects.
- While specific standout races for Ocon in 2022 might not have mirrored the dramatic victory in Hungary from 2021, his ability to consistently score points and his defensive driving in tight midfield battles were noteworthy. Races where Ocon excelled in tire management or benefited from strategic calls would exemplify his contributions to the team’s efforts.
- Overall Performance: Ocon’s 2022 season was marked by consistency and resilience. While perhaps lacking the headline-grabbing moments of his 2021 victory, his steady accumulation of points was crucial for Alpine in the constructors’ standings.
- Contribution to the Team: Ocon’s role was pivotal in Alpine’s strategy to maintain and improve their standing in the constructors’ championship. His performances, often under the radar, contributed significantly to the team’s overall points tally.
- Future Prospects: Ending the 2022 season, Ocon’s development as a driver and his relationship with Alpine appeared strong, setting the stage for continued success. His experiences over the season, particularly in adapting to the new regulations and contributing to the car’s development, positioned him as a key asset for Alpine moving forward.
Esteban Ocon’s 2022 season underscored his reputation as a reliable and skilled driver capable of extracting the maximum from his car and playing a crucial team role in the highly competitive midfield battle.
Esteban Ocon’s 2023 Formula 1 season with Alpine was a year of highs and lows, marked by a mix of challenging moments and notable achievements. Starting the season with a new teammate, Pierre Gasly, Ocon faced early setbacks, including health issues and on-track penalties, but also celebrated significant successes, including a podium finish.
Season Start and Challenges: Ocon’s season began with difficulties even before the first race, as he battled a severe lung virus that impacted his training. At the Bahrain Grand Prix, a series of penalties for grid position errors and speeding in the pit lane culminated in a retirement due to mechanical issues. These early challenges set a tone for a season that would test Ocon’s resilience.
First Points and Team Dynamics: Ocon scored his first points of the season at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with an eighth-place finish. However, the Australian Grand Prix brought a dramatic moment for Alpine, as Ocon was involved in a heavy collision with teammate Gasly, highlighting the intense competition even within teams.
Mid-Season Highlights: Ocon’s season saw a high point at the Monaco Grand Prix. Starting third due to a penalty for Charles Leclerc, Ocon showcased his defensive skills and benefited from others’ mistakes to secure his third career podium and the Driver Of The Day award.
Challenges and Recovery: The season was not without its lows, as Ocon faced a record five penalties at the Austrian Grand Prix for track limits violations, setting a record for the most driving penalties in a single Formula One race. Consecutive retirements in Britain and Hungary due to a hydraulics leak and a crash, respectively, further tested his mettle.
Return to Form: Ocon demonstrated his ability to bounce back at the Belgian Grand Prix, moving up from fourteenth to score points in eighth place, showcasing his skill and determination.
Ocon’s 2023 season was a testament to his resilience and skill, facing down challenges and seizing opportunities to shine. His performance, particularly in Monaco, underscored his potential and contribution to Alpine’s efforts in the highly competitive midfield battle.
Is Esteban Ocon Hispanic?
Esteban Ocon is of French nationality, but he has mixed ethnicity. He has some Spanish heritage through his maternal family, which is originally from Málaga, Spain. This makes him part Hispanic on his mother’s side.
How much is Esteban Ocon paid?
As of the 2023 Formula 1 season, Esteban Ocon’s salary was reported to be around $6 million annually from his contract with Alpine F1 Team. However, F1 driver salaries can vary based on performance, contract negotiations, and other factors, so this figure may change in the future.
Who is the driver number 31 in F1?
As of the 2024 Formula 1 season, the driver with number 31 is Esteban Ocon, who races for the Alpine F1 Team.
Are Esteban Ocon parents rich?
Esteban Ocon’s parents were not wealthy. His family had modest means, with his father owning a small garage where he sold and repaired cars. Ocon’s journey to Formula 1 was supported by his family’s sacrifices and commitment rather than financial abundance.
Are Leclerc and Ocon friends?
Charles Leclerc and Esteban Ocon were not known to be close friends, despite both being French-speaking and of similar age. They had a competitive rivalry starting from their karting days. However, in Formula 1, while there is professional respect, they are not often mentioned as being part of the same close circle of friends. It’s common for drivers to have a professional relationship on the grid that doesn’t necessarily extend to a personal friendship off the track.