Alpine F1 2025 shortlist: Who will replace Esteban Ocon for next season?

Oliver Harden
A close-up shot of Carlos Sainz with a prominent Alpine logo alongside him

Could Alpine be a potential destination for outgoing Ferrari star Carlos Sainz

So who will replace Esteban Ocon at Alpine for the F1 2025 season? The queue, at least among active drivers, is unlikely to be long and winding for a team who seem to have spent the last two years in crisis.

Yet look beyond the mismanagement of recent times and one of the all-time great F1 institutions sits at Enstone. From Carlos Sainz, to drivers not even on the F1 2024 grid like Mick Schumacher, let’s assess the names likely to make up Alpine‘s F1 2025 shortlist…

Carlos Sainz

What if?

What if Carlos Sainz gambles with his F1 future, keeps resisting and resisting Audi’s offer and sees doors close at Mercedes and Red Bull, only to return to the table to find Audi have already signed someone else instead?

It could happen.

And in that (albeit unlikely) scenario, a return to Enstone – where he spent just over 12 months across 2017/18 – could become a possibility.

Jack Doohan

Is this the moment Jack Doohan has been waiting for?

After two respectable seasons in F2, including third in the 2023 standings, the son of motorcycling great Mick opted not to continue in the F1 feeder category this year in favour of concentrating on his Alpine reserve duties – presumably in the hope that one of the current race drivers would move on.

When it comes to his F1 prospects, it could be now or never for Doohan.

Mick Schumacher

After giving Ocon’s both barrels for sparking that first-lap clash in Monaco, Alpine boss Bruno Famin had some interesting things to say about Mick Schumacher too.

“It would be a mistake not to have Mick on the list,” he said of his driver options for F1 2025, with Michael’s boy currently competing for Alpine in this year’s World Endurance Championship.

It’s easy to see the attraction for Schumacher – a route back to F1 with a manufacturer in an environment with modest expectations – but an F1 reprieve with Alpine appears unlikely.

Schumacher is not believed to be high on Alpine’s shortlist, with recent reports linking him with a switch to IndyCar.

F1 2025 driver market: The key details

👉 The 10 drivers out of contract at the end of the F1 2024 season

👉 F1 2025 driver line-up: Who is already confirmed for the 2025 grid?

Yuki Tsunoda

The wildcard in the F1 driver market?

The best days of Yuki Tsunoda’s career are highly unlikely to be rewarded with the career progression – either a Red Bull promotion or following long-time backers Honda to Aston Martin in F1 2026 – he is looking for.

Hence why he has been so transparent lately about assessing alternative options.

After the friction at Alpine over the last couple of years, reuniting Yuki with his old friend Pierre Gasly – thick as thieves at AlphaTauri a few short years ago – could be quite attractive.

Together they can be the faces of a new-look, more pleasant and optimistic Enstone.

Liam Lawson

Helmut Marko let slip some weeks ago that a clause in Liam Lawson’s contract will allow him to walk away from Red Bull entirely if he is not offered a permanent seat for F1 2025.

So if Tsunoda ultimately decides to stick where he is, and RB can’t quite bring themselves to let Daniel Ricciardo go either, could Lawson – fiercely impressive across a five-race cameo for the Red Bull junior team in 2023 – find a home at Alpine?

More fool you, Red Bull, if you’d rather lose him than use him.

Valtteri Bottas

Almost certain to be discarded by Audi/Sauber at the end of this season, Valtteri Bottas is known to be scouting around for seats towards the rear of the field.

Despite rumoured talks with Alpine and Haas, understands that Bottas is more likely to return to Williams, where he began his F1 career back in 2013.

Zhou Guanyu

Few would contend that Zhou Guanyu is deserving of another season in F1 based on performance alone, yet it is clear by now that performance is but a single factor in the decisions of some teams.

The most important factor in this case? Zhou’s status as F1’s first Chinese driver and the obvious commercial benefits that would bring to Alpine/Renault in a year the grandstands in Shanghai were packed.

Zhou’s history with Alpine, where he was test driver before being handed his F1 debut by Sauber, only strengthens his case.

Felipe Drugovich

Felipe Drugovich is one of those rare beasts, a title-winning GP2/F2 driver denied a promotion to F1.

Yet he has been on the F1 scene for some years now as reserve driver for Aston Martin, where the presence of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll means he is unlikely to ever graduate to a race seat.

Still just 24, his Brazilian sponsorship could make him an interesting proposition for Alpine.

Victor Martins

Ocon’s departure brings to an end the era of an all-French driver pairing for a French team, yet does it have to be that way?

In Victor Martins, the winner of the FIA F3 series in 2022, Alpine have another interesting French proposition, but an underwhelming start to his his second F2 season will count against him.

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