Wolff says Ocon ‘growing’ at Alpine
May 14 2021 , 8:16 pm
Esteban Ocon finds himself in the unusual situation of being an Alpine works driver, racing a car powered by a Renault power unit… and yet still having his career guided by Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff. And Wolff, who’s managed Ocon since 2015, said that the French driver’s Alpine ties complicated his prospects of becoming a Mercedes driver in the near future.
While Ocon, who spent 2019 as Mercedes’ official reserve driver, rescinded his official ties to the Silver Arrows when he joined Renault – now Alpine – at the start of 2020, Wolff remains in place as the Frenchman’s manager.
“Esteban, it’s a little bit of a weird situation, because he’s been a Mercedes junior for a long time, and he’s an Alpine works driver now and that’s fact,” said Wolff. “I think that the situation is good for him there, he’s growing, he’s putting in the performances… he’s French!
“I mean, all that, it’s very much the stars aligned and I think it needs to be Laurent’s [Laurent Rossi, Alpine CEO] and Esteban’s call first how to continue before we start to give an opinion.”
Whatever happens with Ocon’s future, Mercedes are set to feature prominently in this year’s ‘silly season’, with both Hamilton and team mate Valtteri Bottas out of contract at the end of the year.