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Esteban Ocon was once a star prodigy for Mercedes and now, he is perfecting his craft with Alpine. The Frenchman has become an ever-reliable figure in Formula 1, and he has developed a level of consistency that makes the driver a frequent competitor for points.
World Championships 🏆
Race Wins 🏁
Debut Race 🏎️
28 August 2016
(Belgian Grand Prix)
With six season in F1 behind him, Esteban Ocon is becoming a veteran of the sport and he is hoping that his results in future years could be better, perhaps even starting with the 2023 F1 season.
Formula 1’s once wonderkid looking to become a star
Ocon started his Formula 1 career in 2016 with Manor Racing MRT for their one and only season in the series. He made his debut midway through the season, replacing Rio Haryanto, and took part in nine races. However, his time with the British team was cut short after their parent company was put under administration.
The then 20-year-old was quickly taken on by Force India which became his home for two years. His first season with the team remains as his second most successful campaign ever, with 87 points and 12 consecutive points finishes. Despite an impressive stint with Force India, the Frenchman was left without a seat in Formula 1 after Lance Stroll was signed instead, after his father purchased the team.
As a Mercedes academy driver and scholar, Ocon was soon signed as a reserve/test driver for his parent team. He claimed that he was close to joining Mercedes racing team as a full-time driver for the following season, replacing Valtteri Bottas. However, this was not the case.
Things were looking up for Ocon in the 2020 season, as Renault came knocking. He returned to the Formula 1 grid, replacing Nico Hulkenberg and teaming up with the fan favourite, Daniel Ricciardo. He found a lot of success for the team and even managed to take his first ever podium at the Sakhir Grand Prix, finishing second.
From 2021, Renault rebranded to Alpine F1 Team, and Ocon continues to drive for the French team. His first season as an Alpine driver remains as one to remember, as he brought home his first race win from the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.
A tough upbringing for Esteban Ocon
Ocon’s family were incredibly supportive of his motorsport career, and coming from a ‘working class’ background, they made a lot of sacrifices for it.
His parents, Sabrine Khelfane and Laurent Ocon, made the decision to sell their family business and house to fund their son. They even lived in a caravan throughout the karting championships, travelling from track to track, to support his racing career.
Esteban Ocon behind the scenes
The Alpine driver is currently dating Elena Berri, an Italian born model who is also working as a digital creator. She has over 100,000 followers on Instagram. The pair got together in 2018 and she has been seen at several of Ocon’s races since.
Another interesting relationship for Ocon, is that of Pierre Gasly. The pair were once involved in a fiery rivalry in their karting days. Now they are teammates for the foreseeable future as Gasly was signed for Alpine this season. They claim that now they are working together, the gauntlet has been dropped, and they will be sharing a strong working relationship.
How much does Esteban Ocon earn?
Despite rising from a poor background, for a racing driver, Ocon is now reportedly worth around $18 million. As an Alpine driver, he is reportedly earning around $5.4 million a year and is signed until the end of the 2024 season. He is also notably sponsored by Microsoft, who are also long serving sponsors of Alpine-Renault.
- Name: Esteban Ocon
- Date of birth: 17th September, 1996
- Place of birth: Evreux, France
- Nationality: French – Spanish
- Team: BWT Alpine F1 Team
- Race number: 31
From rags to riches – how Esteban Ocon went from living in a caravan to Formula 1
As a youngster, he showed great promise and talent in the French Karting Championship. He won it in 2007, his second year of racing, which began a long-lasting rivalry against Pierre Gasly. A few years later, Ocon won the French KF3 title and finished second in the WSK Euro Series, behind a young Max Verstappen
In 2012, he went on to make his single seat racing debut in Formula Renault. He took part in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and finished 14th overall, taking a podium at the Circuit Paul Ricard – his home track.
He continued to race in the series for another year and won two races. The season was closely contested throughout, but Ocon could only finish in third place, ending the campaign behind Gasly.
Ocon then moved to Formula 3 in 2013, which started rather poorly after the Frenchman after he stalled on the starting grid his first race weekend. He remained in Formula 3 for another year, where he was crowned as champion with three races remaining. This time, finishing ahead of Verstappen.
Following the tremendous successes from Formula 3, Ocon moved to the GP3 Seris in 2015 with ART Grand Prix. He recorded 14 podiums in the series and earned nine consecutive second place finishes. The 19-year-old won the championship by eight points after totally dominating the championship and only ended a race outside of the podium spots four times from 18 races.
After such an impressive season, he was subjected to several test days in Formula 1. Then, Manor Racing MRT saw enough to promote Ocon to the series as a full-time driver.
Esteban Ocon’s chances of making it past the midfield
Ocon will be facing a tough challenged this F1 season, as a likely mid table team. It was an incredibly poor start to the season for the Frenchman who was subject to over 35 seconds of penalties which ultimately ruined his race. However, the 26-year-old will be in a good position to improve his recent championship standing finishes over the past few years.
The Alpine has started the season competitively and both drivers were able to record an eighth and ninth place finish at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Ocon has showed his ability to reach the podium spots in Formula 1 before, but with Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and now Aston Martin showing unreachable pace – it would take something special to replicate his past successes.