Esteban Ocon is a French Formula One Racing driver competing for Alpine in Formula One. He made his Formula One debut for Manor Racing in the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix. Ocon was part of the Mercedes driver development programme until his move to Renault in 2020.
Born on 17 September 1996 in Evreux, Normandy to Sabrine Khelfane and Laurent Ocon, Esteban Ocon is of Algerian and Spanish descent. He started competitive karting at the age of 10 in 2006 and made his way to Formula One 10 years later in 2016.
Ocon began karting in 2006 when he finished 8th in the French Minime Championship. He made steady progress in the years to come and was signed by Gravity Sports Management, a sister company of Renault at the age of 14.
Ocon made his debut in single-seaters in 2012, taking part in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and finishing fourteenth. In 2013, he improved to 3rd in the standings with 3 podiums to his name.
For 2014, Ocon progressed to Formula Three where he drove for Prema and won the championship beating the likes of Max Verstappen in the process. He moved to the GP3 series in 2015 and ended up winning the championship after a close battle with Lua Ghiotto.
Ocon would compete in 10 races for Mercedes in the DTM series before getting promoted to a Formula One drive at the Belgian Grand Prix 2016.
Formula One Career
Ocon got his first opportunity for a Formula One drive when the Manor GP decided to replace driver Rio Haryanto with Ocon. Ocon took the year as a learning curve and spent his time with the backmarker team learning tricks of the trade in Formula One. For the 2017 season Force India announced that they had signed Ocon as part of a 2-year deal.
Ocon would drive for Force India alongside Sergio Perez in what would essentially be his rookie season in Formula One. In his very first season, Ocon would impress with his pace and consistency. His pace did cause multiple run-ins with Perez as the pair would have crash multiple times. Ocon would finish the season 8th in the standings.
Ocon would improve further in 2018 and consistently outqualify Perez. Multiple reliability concerns and crashes would cause Ocon a lot of points in the standings and mask some of the progress Ocon had made. Ocon would finish the season in the 12th position and sit out for the 2019 season as Force India went into administration and the new team Racing Point would replace Ocon with Lance Stroll.
Ocon would make a return to the grid in the 2020 season driving alongside Daniel Ricciardo. In a season where he had to go up against a very tough teammate in Ricciardo, Ocon, who also had to settle in a brand new team was thoroughly outpaced by his teammate early on in the season. Although Ocon was able to close the gap later in the season he still ended the season more than 50 points behind Ricciardo. As part of Ocon’s improvement through the season, he would finish second at the Sakhir GP 2020 and secure the first podium of his career.
Ocon would welcome Fernando Alonso as his teammate for the 2021 season.
Father: Laurent Ocon
Mother: Sabrine Khelfane