Success is the reward of true consistency. And perhaps at this time, the saying stands most true for Alpine driver Esteban Ocon. The only race the young Frenchman didn’t manage to finish was the recent 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
But other than that, it’s Esteban Ocon, not Fernando Alonso, who’s been leading the charge of the strong midfield team. And stemming from consistent showings in races such as Spain, Imola, Portugal, Esteban Ocon has been rewarded with a contract extension. The Alpine F1 team are very willing to continue with the returning Formula 1 driver who sat out for an entire year in 2019 and have rewarded him with a three-year contract extension.
“I’m delighted to continue with the team beyond this year and it’s a fantastic feeling to secure my future with Alpine. We’ve been progressing well together since I joined the team and I aim to continue that journey going forward. There are great challenges ahead of us, especially with the new regulations in 2022. I’m sure we can hit our targets by working hard together and continuing the story. I often think back to the Sakhir Grand Prix last year with the podium, and it motivates me to create more special memories like that. I’m really looking forward to the next chapter but, for now, we’re very much focused on this season and taking each race as it comes,” said Ocon.
The Young Esteban Ocon Has Been Pushing The Team Forwards
To be fair to the 24-year-old, even as he didn’t finish in stellar fashion at the season-opening 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, managing no further than a thirteenth (P13) on the grid, Esteban Ocon picked up the pace and got the hang of the A521 from the very next contest onward.
A string of impressive showings that included a P9 at Imola (Emilia Romagna Grand Prix), followed by his best result so far of 2021- a P7 at the Portimao-bound Portuguese Grand Prix, which was then followed by consecutive P9 finishes at Spain and Monaco saw Ocon leading Alpine’s charge in the midfield.
And truth be told, the news that the Evreux-born has been rewarded for his consistent efforts in the midfield is about as pleasing a news as seeing Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi performing well for the Swiss-Italian stable, becoming the first man to score points for the team in Monaco, as his teammate managed an eleventh.
Alpine CEO Impressed By What Esteban Ocon Promises
Both drivers, in that sense, have been quick and consistent, and still very much been under the radar eschewing hype and focusing on the task at hand- which is to push their respective team forwards.
Esteban Ocon, shall therefore drive for Alpine until at least the completion of the 2024 Formula 1 World Championship, which would be an interesting scenario to think in that who knows whether we’ll get to see the likes of Alonso, Vettel, Raikkonen, and Hamilton still competing in the highest annals of Grand Prix racing?
Speaking on the matter of Ocon’s continuance with the Alpine racing outfit, here’s what the team’s CEO Laurent Rossi had to say, “We are very proud to retain Esteban as part of the Alpine family. Since returning to the team in 2020, Esteban has grown in confidence and stature to deliver consistently good results and help develop the car with the team.”
That said, the CEO would further add interesting insights about Ocon’s high performance trajectory despite his relatively young age, adding, “Despite his young age, he is very experienced in Formula 1 and he’s on a positive trajectory in both his maturity and ability behind the wheel. He is a strong asset for us now, and also going forward as we meet the challenge of the new regulations.”
To conclude, the biggest aim for Esteban Ocon now would be to shine at the upcoming 2021 French Grand Prix, to be held at Circuit Paul Ricard. It’s his home race and that there’s no Romain Grosjean on the current grid, Ocon happens to be one of only two Frenchman contesting on his home turf. So are more points in the offing? Where do you think might the capable racer end at the forthcoming Grand Prix?