Ocon a ‘good fit’ for Haas in 2025 – reports

Tue, 4 June 2024, 10:01

Jun.4 (GMM) Esteban Ocon says his next move in Formula 1 will be announced “very soon”.

As was correctly predicted by the French sports daily L’Equipe, Alpine announced that after a five-year collaboration with the Frenchman dating back to the Renault-branded days, the 27-year-old will leave the team at the end of the season.

It follows team boss Bruno Famin’s fury at the first lap crash with Ocon’s teammate Pierre Gasly just over a week ago in Monaco, which triggered speculation the Frenchman may be sidelined to the bench this weekend in Montreal.

But Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Joel Lischka said it was already being rumoured prior to the Monaco incident that “Alpine did not want to continue to work with Ocon”.

Alpine, however, said the split was “agreed together” with Ocon, with the 2021 Hungarian GP winner now linked with a move to Haas for 2025 to replace Audi-bound Nico Hulkenberg.

“It would be a good fit,” said Bild journalist Enrico Ahlig, “as Ocon is close friends with Haas team boss Ayao Komatsu.

“Both have known and respected each other since the days when Ocon was still a test driver at Renault.”

Ocon declared late on Monday: “I will announce my plans very soon but, in the meantime, my full focus is on delivering on track for this team and having a successful remainder of the season.”

Current Alpine reserve and would-be F1 rookie Jack Doohan, the son of motorcycle legend Mick Doohan, is considered the frontrunner to replace Ocon.

France’s L’Equipe said: “Logic dictates that Alpine will do everything to keep Pierre Gasly as leader, with the hope of offering him a high-performance single-seater for 2026.

“But the market remains very vague around Red Bull, Mercedes, Sauber, Williams, Racing Bulls and Haas.”

As for 21-year-old Australian Doohan, L’Equipe correspondent Erik Bielderman said: “He is a protege of Flavio Briatore, who is joining as an advisor to the French team.

“Mick Schumacher is another option, but he’s a Mercedes driver managed by Toto Wolff, just like Esteban Ocon. And there is a question about the young German on the driving side.”

Bielderman also named Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu, Theo Pourchaire and Yuki Tsunoda as other potential candidates for a move to Alpine for 2025.

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