10x F1 winner emerges as a surprise contender to replace Esteban Ocon at Alpine - Reports

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Previews
Esteban Ocon of France and Alpine F1 attends the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco. Credit: Getty.

A new name has emerged as a contender for Esteban Ocon's Alpine seat for 2025 and beyond. With Ocon having decided to part ways with the French team at the end of this season, reports have revealed Valtteri Bottas is a potential candidate to partner Pierre Gasly next year.

After a five-year-long association, Ocon and Alpine decided to end their partnership on mutual grounds. This made Gasly the de facto leader of the Enstone-based team. However, they need a driver to fill Ocon's shoes, and Bottas' experience with Mercedes and his 10 GP wins certainly make him a worthy replacement.

Having said that, one can expect Alpine vice president Bruno Famin and his team to retain Gasly for 2025 and beyond. On this, Famin said in an interview back in April (via Formula1.com):

"We are happy with Esteban, happy with Pierre – but we are happy to reach in case something happens.”

While there are plenty of contenders for Esteban Ocon's seat, Valtteri Bottas is the most experienced name. It is also worth noting that there is growing evidence that Carlos Sainz may join Williams, which would allow Bottas to join the Enstone-based squad.

Bottas' future with Sauber is still unknown, as the Hinwil-based team has yet to renew their contract with the former Mercedes driver.


Besides Valtteri Bottas, who else can join Alpine to replace Esteban Ocon?

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 09: Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber waves to the crowd on the drivers parade prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Canada
MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 09: Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber waves to the crowd on the drivers parade prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Canada

Reports put Valtteri Bottas' name on top as Esteban Ocon's potential replacement. However, multiple others can come out to sign instead of the Finnish driver.

Jack Doohan is the reserve driver of the Alpine F1 team. The Australian former F2 driver had his FP1 experience with the French team in Canada and has ample experience under his belt to take on the French F1 team's car.

However, it is unlikely that Doohan will deliver as soon as he starts racing. In that case, Famin's team might look for someone with prior F1 experience.

There's an outside chance that Mick Schumacher, who recently raced in 24 Hours of Le Mans with Alpine's Endurance team, might replace Esteban Ocon next season.

All in all, the F1 drivers market is at its finest now with multiple drivers out of contract at the end of 2024. This not only makes the market volatile but also provides Alpine a chance to choose from a pool of multiple drivers.

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Edited by Parag Jain
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