Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team

Formula 1 Rumor: Ocon could replace Hamilton at Mercedes

(GMM) Esteban Ocon admits “chats” about his future in Formula 1 are already starting to take place as he eyes Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes seat.

The 27-year-old’s contract, as well as that of his French teammate and countryman Pierre Gasly, expires this year – in the heart of Alpine’s performance slump and management turmoil.

Ocon has already reminded the public that he remains under the management thumb of Toto Wolff, who has Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes seat to fill for 2025.

And now, he says talks with teams other than Alpine are already taking place.

“It is an important year in my career and I want to do the best I can,” Ocon told the High Performance podcast. “I don’t want any regrets at the end of the year.

“There’s going to be a lot of work on and outside the track. There’s going to be chats obviously because I am in the last year of my contract.”

When asked if those ‘chats’ have already begun, Ocon admitted: “Yeah, for sure they have started already but that’s normal for everyone.

“I am still not a big fan of these chats but I am in a different place than I was in 2019,” he said, referring to when he lost his Racing Point seat and then returned to the grid a year later with Renault.

“I am a race winner, a podium finisher. We have a lot of arguments in my favor.”

However, there appear to be candidates on Wolff’s Mercedes short-list that are ahead of Ocon. A move to Sauber, transitioning to works Audi’s team by 2026, might be another option.

“We can see how poorly the Renault subsidiary Alpine is performing,” former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher told Sport1.

“But Sauber, the future Audi team, is hardly better. That’s why it’s important for Andi Seidl to sweep through the factory in Switzerland with an iron broom.”

Related article: Formula 1 News: Three Alpine drivers leap into ‘silly season’ news

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