Esteban Ocon declares he is F1’s ‘purest driver’ in new Alpine jibe

The Frenchman is looking for a seat for the 2025 season on the F1 grid and claims teams should be impressed by his performances

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Esteban Ocon has boldly described himself as the “purest driver” in Formula 1 and aimed a subtle dig at his team Alpine over their poor form in 2024.

The Frenchman has garnered a reputation for making life difficult for his team-mates in the past and present, clashing with Sergio Perez at Racing Point, Fernando Alonso at Alpine and his current team-mate Pierre Gasly.

Their strained relationship has only added to the difficulties at Alpine, who have struggled to get anywhere near their 2022 form and are already 41 points worse off than their 2023 tally at the same stage.

But Ocon has beaten Gasly in five out of seven races in which they have both finished this season, despite a dispute over team orders at the Canadian GP where he was forced to move aside.

Esteban Ocon at the 2024 Canadian GP | Alpine
Esteban Ocon finished P10 at the 2024 Canadian GP | Alpine

And the two-time podium finisher thinks his performances have gone under the radar due to the team’s struggles.

“I’m a driver [performing] at a high level this season, even though it couldn’t be seen from the car we have,” Ocon told the written media in Barcelona, as reported by Marca. “I’m probably the purest driver there is with all of the values ​​together, but that’s how things are.”

Esteban Ocon out to prove his worth

Ocon was once again quizzed about his infamous collision with Gasly at the Monaco GP, which prompted Alpine boss Bruno Famin to issue a brutal statement warning of “consequences” for the 27-year-old.

Weeks later, the Enstone team announced they would be ending their five-year association with Ocon, while Gasly looks set to remain with the team next year. While he is reluctant to draw on the incident again, Ocon says he will use the experience to become a better racer.

The Alpine driver said: “What can you do? You learn from your mistakes and try not to let them happen. That’s something I’ve always tried to do. You just question yourself first and change what you need to change.

There is a realistic chance the Frenchman could miss out on a seat next year, despite links with Haas. And Ocon admitted he has a point to prove in demonstrating to team bosses that he deserves to be on the grid again next year.

“There are good negotiations going on, but for me it’s important to always focus on what I have to do on the track. That’s the main thing. If you do well on track, there are always negotiations,” Ocon added.

“My people are working hard in the background to find the best project and the best opportunities for me. At the moment, there is nothing more to announce. But there are a lot of discussions going on and hopefully, before the summer, I can announce it because what we are talking about is whether people believe in me or not. That has to be the question.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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