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  • Harrison Rowett

"The Departure of Esteban Ocon: What Led to His Exit from Alpine?"

Why has Esteban Ocon left Alpine?

it was announced on the 3rd July 2024 that Esteban Ocon and Alpine will part ways at the end of the 2024 Formula one season.

This announcement came in only just over a week after the first lap incident between the Alpine teammates of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly during the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix. Ocon was the one pointed at for blame of the incident by Alpine who were rumoured to punish the Frenchman as far as benching him for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix however this does not look like these actions will take place.

Despite probably not being the exclusive reason for the separation of Esteban Ocon and Alpine at the end of the 2024 season there is no doubt the first lap incident in Monaco was a huge trigger of the announcement.

Possible perspectives from both sides resulting in the announcement.

From Alpines point of view there is no doubt the first lap incident Ocon caused with this team mate Pierre Gasly during the Monaco Grand Prix was likely the triggering factor resulting in the split between the two sides.

However this is not the first example of Ocon being caught up in on track conflict between his teammate resulting in contact. During his two year stint with Force India between the Formula one seasons of 2017 and 2018 there was multiple occurrences of contact when he was paired up with current Red Bull driver Sergio Perez. Contact was made between the two multiple times throughout their partnership together such as the Belgium Grand Prix in 2017, Singapore in 2018 and most notably in Baku 2017 when Ocon forced Perez off into the wall.

Incidents of on track conflict with teammates from Ocon have also emerged in recent years with his current team Alpine having multiple incidents with first Alpine teammate Fernando Alonso including at the 2022 Hungarian Grand prix where multiple over aggressive defensive manoeuvres were carried out by Ocon on Alonso, this resulted in Alonso saying over the radio "Never in my life have I seen a defence like Esteban’s today".

Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly after contact with each other in the 2023 Australian Grand Prix.
Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly after contact with each other in the 2023 Australian Grand Prix. © 2024

Additionally as recently as the 2023 Australian grand Prix current Alpine line-up of Ocon and Gasly collided after a restart and despite not being Ocon's fault was still not healthy for the internal morality of the team.

Overall this negative reputation Ocon has built round himself demonstrating not being a team players is probably a significant reason for why from Alpines point of view the split is for the best especially as Ocon and Gasly have had personal clashes with each other since they were kids.

Alpine bringing in a new driver would improve stability of the team which is especially essential to help deal with their current decline in performance being only 9th in the constructors championship after the first 8 races.

However from the other side of the decision there could also be intrigue from Ocon to leave Alpine and commit to a new challenge else where in another team.

This will be Ocon's fourth year at the Alpine team including his first year being under Renault which was then rebranded to Alpine in 2021. 2020 was a satisfactory season for the Renault team finishing 5th in the constructors championship including 3 podiums attained throughout the year, including one of them being from Ocon with his maiden podium finishing second in the dramatic 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.

Alpine in the two seasons following of 2021 and 2022 maintained its reputation as a solid operation occupying the front of the midfield finishing 5th and 4th respectively in the constructors championship. Throughout these years Ocon picked up a handful of podiums including his first f1 victory at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.

However 2023 saw the first year of a notable decline for Alpine finishing 6th in the constructors standings and 2024 so far showing a far more alarming indication of decline with Alpine sitting 9th in the constructors championship after 8 races and at certain race weekends having the slowest car all together.

Despite the consistent midfield finishes in the championship from Alpine the team has never displayed going the next step forward to challenging for regular podiums on pure pace but instead alarmingly displaying huge decline in performance for the past two years. This overall shows Alpine not having the promising project or vision to ever be a front running constructor resulting in Ocon's reasoning for potentially wanting to leave Alpine is to look round for other teams that have the potential to supply him the opportunity to be in a front running car.


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