Ocon No Lesser Than Ferrari’s Sainz or Any Other ‘So-Called 2nd Drivers’: Alpine F1 CEO

Published 07/20/2021, 5:50 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria – June 24, 2021 Alpine’s Esteban Ocon during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna


New entrants, Alpine Renault, took the entire F1 community by surprise by signing a mammoth thre-year deal with Esteban Ocon. Unfortunately for Alpine, the Frenchman has since gone into hibernation, potentially raising questions on the huge contractual gamble.

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However, Laurent Rossi, the team’s chief executive officer, is showing no signs of concerns over Ocon’s recent contract extension. Why would that be?

Well, the Frenchman reckoned that the team aren’t resting too many hopes on Ocon, as he opined the number 2 Alpine driver may not be capable of winning championship titles in the future.

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What did the Alpine F1 CEO say?

Speaking to BBC, Rossi reckoned that Ocon may not be a championship material for Alpine. “He might not be guaranteed world champion material. Who can be dubbed this way? Not many drivers at the moment,” the Alpine boss said.

Of course, one might oblige to Rossi’s claims, considering how Ocon has struggled since 2020. Renault gave Ocon a second chance in 2020 after being left out of Racing Point back in 2019 following the Stroll takeover.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 3, 2021 Alpine’s Esteban Ocon arrives at the circuit ahead of practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

However, the French lad struggled to shine much as opposed to his then-teammate, Daniel Ricciardo‘s blistering form. It wasn’t until the Sakhir Grand Prix when Ocon finally found a breakthrough by securing P2 in the dramatic race.

Alpine has an excellent second driver in Esteban Ocon: Rossi

The Alpine boss, despite stating Ocon as a non-championship-winning material, reckoned that he is no less of a driver than the likes of Carlos Sainz.

I would not let anyone say he is a lesser driver than Carlos or any of the so-called second drivers of the top teams,” he said.

So at the very least I have myself an excellent second driver. And I frankly think he has all it takes to become a top driver,” Rossi further added.

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Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Alpine’s Esteban Ocon during practice REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Ocon finally ended his non-scoring streak at Silverstone last weekend after portraying struggles early on. The Frenchman drove his heart out to secure P9 for Alpine, who cherishes yet another double points finish this season.

Hence, Alpine’s next target on the constructor’s championship are Aston Martin, who are just eight points ahead. So, can the Alpine duo churn out another strong showing in Hungary to breeze past the returning British outfit next weekend? Only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

902 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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