“He is constantly under their management” – Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi confirms if there is a clause that allows Mercedes to sign Esteban Ocon while his contract with Alpine is running.
Esteban Ocon confirmed his F1 future ahead of the French GP, extending his stay with Alpine. He still remains a Mercedes-managed driver, and there are suggestions he might be considered to replace Valtteri Bottas next season.
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has cleared this out, confirming there is no clause that allows Mercedes to buy out Ocon’s Alpine contract. This leaves Mercedes with only George Russell as an option from the grid to replace Bottas.
“He is a Mercedes-managed driver so that is about it. He is constantly under their management. But there is no such clause as Mercedes putting him out of the team. No, he stays with us for the next three years.”
— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) June 18, 2021
Why did Alpine extend deal with Esteban Ocon?
Ocon did not have a great season last year, but he is showing signs of improvement this time around. But more than that, Rossi and co. decided to extend his stay because of what he offers to the overall Alpine brand.
“Beyond the F1 driver, he is a great guy. He is humble, very generous with his time, constantly giving his time even to us in the larger Alpine construct. He always offers to chime into the development of the new cars or the brand, so it is really good to have him around. That is also why we signed him for three years.
“He is damn fast too. Give him any car and he is fast. He shows it every quali so that makes him a very good driver first off.”