Esteban Ocon Biography
Born: 17/09/1996 Evreux, France
Esteban Ocon, one half of the all-French driver line-up for French team Alpine in 2023, hasn’t had an easy time in Formula 1.
Having caught the eye with his impressive rise through the junior ranks, Ocon is one of F1’s more recent new race winners following his shock success in the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.
His current tenure at Alpine was somewhat foretold during his early years when he was snapped by Renault (which owns the Alpine sportscar brand) aged just 14 to join its driver development programme.
Often finding himself in competition with fellow Frenchman and 2023 team-mate Pierre Gasly through karting, they also went head-to-head for the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 title in 2013, with the latter winning out.
Ocon’s reputation surged on the back of a successful run to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship title as a rookie in 2015. But he found his achievements overshadowed by rival Max Verstappen, who was fast-tracked straight into F1 from F3, despite being defeated by the Frenchman.
Ocon backed up the F3 crown with the GP3 Series title in 2015, once more with ART Grand Prix, but then joined Mercedes’ young driver roster and was syphoned into a DTM drive for 2016 rather than GP2.
Despite struggling in the touring car series, Ocon – after being loaned back to Renault to complete Friday free practice outings – got his F1 chance mid-way through 2016 at Manor Racing.
2022 - BWT Alpine F1 Team
9th - 92 points
Coming into the new season looking to build on his race-winning campaign the previous year, though Esteban Ocon failed to make it back onto the podium in 2022 he was a regular top ten finisher.
With Alpine stepping up its competitiveness under the new technical regulation directive to surpass McLaren as the fourth best team on the grid, Ocon scored points in 16 of the 22 grands prix.
Peaking with a run to fourth in the Japanese Grand Prix, Ocon ended the year ninth in the standings and ahead of double F1 World Championship winning team-mate Fernando Alonso.
2021 - Alpine F1 Team
11th - 74 points
Renault morphed into its sportscar sub-brand Alpine for the 2021 season, and Ocon was joined by two-time F1 World Champion Alonso.
Despite the Spaniard commanding the lion’s share of the attention, it was Ocon who delivered Alpine’s best result with a shock victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Having benefited from a first turn pile-up that lifted him from eighth to second, Ocon continued to run strongly behind Lewis Hamilton for much of the race before the Briton’s decision to pit opened the door for the Frenchman to assume the lead.
Despite fading tyres, Ocon was able to hold off Sebastian Vettel to claim a famous first F1 win for both himself and Alpine, which in turn marked a first for the Renault company outright since Alonso’s Japanese Grand Prix success in 2008.
While the rest of the season delivered more nondescript results, Ocon was a regular points scorer, highlighted by top-five finishes in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, to lift him to 11th in the drivers' standings.
2020 - Renault DP World F1 Team
12th - 62 points
With no prospect of a Mercedes seat becoming available for the foreseeable future, Ocon reignited his relationship with Renault to join its driver line-up for the 2020 F1 season.
While the delayed start to the year hampered his momentum upon returning to F1, Ocon enjoyed a string of solid results, including a sixth place at Silverstone and a fifth place at Spa, even if he failed to sparkle in the highly competitive midfield.
Nevertheless, the season did herald Ocon’s maiden F1 podium result with his second place finish in the Sakhir Grand Prix. Having worked his way up to third behind the two Mercedes cars, Ocon would have had a shot at victory had he not been overtaken by Sergio Perez shortly before pitstop blunders dropped the ‘Black Arrows’ out of contention.
2018 - Sahara Force India F1 Team - Racing Point Force India F1 Team
12th - 49 points
With Force India’s momentum stuttering amid growing financial issues behind the scenes, the troubles hampered car development initially, as Ocon scored just once in the opening five races.
Results picked up mid-way through the year with sixth place finishes in Monaco and Austria, but Force India’s issues came to a head as the summer break approached when the team abruptly entered administration.
A rescue bid led by Lawrence Stroll ensured the team – now known as Racing Point – could end the season, but came with the caveat of Ocon knowing he would be replaced for 2019 by Lance Stroll.
A lowlight of his year came in Brazil when he collided with race leader Verstappen while attempting to unlap himself following a pitstop, which led to a post-race altercation. He also found time to have another collision with team-mate Sergio Perez in Singapore, following a series of clashes the season before.
After failing to secure a drive for 2019, Ocon returned to Mercedes in a test and reserve driver role.
2017 - Sahara Force India F1 Team
8th - 87 points
Switching to Force India for the 2017 F1 season after being selected over Wehrlein, Ocon justified the team’s faith with an impressive maiden campaign that earned acclaim.
Scoring in all but two of the season’s 20 grands prix, Ocon cut a familiar figure in the upper-half of the field throughout, sustaining a run of 27 consecutive races of reaching the finish line.
However, the season was marred by multiple run-ins with team-mate Perez, which created friction within the squad. Triggered first by Ocon ignoring team orders to allow Perez through in Canada – prompting an angry exchange over the team radio – the pair then collided at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which scuppered the chance of a double podium.
When yet another altercation led to Perez squeezing Ocon towards the wall on the run to Eau Rouge at Spa, bosses were forced to intervene with team orders.
Despite the ructions, Ocon went on to end the season eighth in the overall standings with a best finish of fifth in Mexico.
2016 - Manor Racing
23rd - 0 points [9 starts]
Ocon’s F1 opportunity came on F1’s return from the summer break following Manor Racing’s dismissal of Rio Haryanto from its driver lineup.
Creating an intriguing direct head-to-head between himself and fellow Mercedes protege Pascal Wehrlein, with bosses hinting at a possible endorsed promotion to a more competitive team for 2017, a rivalry quickly ensued.
Buoyed by having Manor’s most competitive car to date at his disposal – despite its financial issues – Ocon settled in well to prove a close match for Wehrlein straight away.
Keeping his head down to reach the flag in each of the final nine races, Ocon very nearly scored in a wet Brazilian Grand Prix, only to be overtaken twice on the final lap to leave him 12th.
Ocon: Abu Dhabi F1 tyre test "super important" to iron out weakness
Ocon: Abu Dhabi F1 tyre test "super important" to iron out weakness Ocon: Abu Dhabi F1 tyre test "super important" to iron out weakness
Ocon explains why he didn’t follow ‘hold position’ F1 team order
Ocon explains why he didn’t follow ‘hold position’ F1 team order Ocon explains why he didn’t follow ‘hold position’ F1 team order
Ocon explains "crazy" Verstappen incident during Vegas F1 qualifying
Ocon explains "crazy" Verstappen incident during Vegas F1 qualifying Ocon explains "crazy" Verstappen incident during Vegas F1 qualifying
Ocon: Tough love from de Meo address has fired up Alpine F1 team
Ocon: Tough love from de Meo address has fired up Alpine F1 team Ocon: Tough love from de Meo address has fired up Alpine F1 team
Alpine: Gasly/Ocon late switch in F1 Japanese GP right thing to do
Alpine: Gasly/Ocon late switch in F1 Japanese GP right thing to do Alpine: Gasly/Ocon late switch in F1 Japanese GP right thing to do
Gasly: Alpine's Ocon swap wasn't discussed before Japan F1 race
Gasly: Alpine's Ocon swap wasn't discussed before Japan F1 race Gasly: Alpine's Ocon swap wasn't discussed before Japan F1 race
Italian GP 2023: Lap by lap visualization
Italian GP 2023: Lap by lap visualization Italian GP 2023: Lap by lap visualization
Norris: “Dangerous” close call with Ocon triggered by lap time delta
Norris: “Dangerous” close call with Ocon triggered by lap time delta Norris: “Dangerous” close call with Ocon triggered by lap time delta
Gasly: Alpine “expected” to be knocked out in Q1
Gasly: Alpine “expected” to be knocked out in Q1 Gasly: Alpine “expected” to be knocked out in Q1