What’s next for Esteban Ocon? Four potential F1 seats in order of likelihood

Elizabeth Blackstock
Esteban Ocon stands on the 2024 Bahrain grid in cap and jacket

Esteban Ocon will leave Alpine — but he has plenty of 2025 options

After a difficult start to the 2024 season, Esteban Ocon and Alpine “have agreed together to part ways,” throwing yet another monkey wrench into the ever-captivating 2025 silly season.

While we’ve already discussed options to fill Ocon’s seat at Alpine, there are still plenty of Formula 1 seats available for the French racer up and down the grid. Let’s take a look at the open seats and analyze just how well Esteban Ocon could slot into that lineup.

Haas F1: A likely choice

As PlanetF1 reported, Haas has emerged as a very likely landing pad thanks to speculation from F1 correspondent Lawrence Barretto.

Haas’ future is currently cause for some concern. After the closure of Stewart-Haas Racing, which represented Gene Haas’ foray into the NASCAR Cup Series, pundits have wondered if the Formula 1 team may face some significant changes, even if Haas has claimed it will be business as usual.

Ocon, though, fits the Haas driver profile. The team has historically signed experienced F1 drivers known for a bit of aggression on the track: Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen. Ocon almost perfectly fits that bill, and he could perhaps provide a much-needed shake-up over at the American team.

Understanding Ocon’s departure: 

👉 Esteban Ocon exit timeline claim emerges with Haas in ‘pole position’ rumours
👉 Esteban Ocon gives latest update on F1 future after Alpine split confirmation
👉 Alpine F1 2025 shortlist: Who will replace Esteban Ocon for next season?

Sauber/Audi: A backup plan

Also per Lawrence Barretto, Audi, the team that will replace Sauber, is said to be negotiating for Ocon. Nico Hulkenberg has already signed on for one of those seats heading into 2025, and the second seat seems firmly reserved for Carlos Sainz Jr.

Right now, it can be tough to fully predict what the Sauber-turned-Audi outfit may decide to do; while key personnel like Andreas Seidl will remain constant, the team’s ownership by a new company may come with brand-new considerations.

Ocon, though, could be a great choice; he’s been part of Formula 1 for years and has seen how the sport operates and evolves. His feedback, paired with Hulkenberg’s, may serve the team well.

Williams: A big ‘maybe’

While Williams has committed to Alex Albon, the legendary team’s second seat remains open heading into 2025. Ocon still considers himself to be part of the Mercedes junior program, which perhaps means he still has prime connections that could lead him to a Williams seat.

As with Haas, Williams has struggled in recent years largely thanks to a massive disparity in the quality of its drivers.

Nicholas Latifi and Logan Sargeant may be great at providing a much-needed paycheck, but their results haven’t been quite as impressive. Ocon has indeed struggled in 2024, but his experience and skill level could be enough to turn the tides of the Williams team.

Mercedes: Getting colder…

After Alpine and Ocon announced their split, all eyes turned to recent quotes in the hope of shedding more light on the situation — including a quote from Ocon that he still considers himself a Mercedes junior because his “management” team “hasn’t changed since 2015.”

With Lewis Hamilton parting from Mercedes at the end of the 2024 season, it would be natural to link Ocon to that seat. However, considering that a recent Mercedes test involved current driver George Russell and potential drivers Mick Schumacher and Kimi Antonelli, it would appear that the German marque is already well into the process of signing someone else.

What about another series? 

One look at Esteban Ocon’s career record, and it’s clear that his path was destined for open-wheel racing; his only significant deviation from the F1 ladder was a 10-race stint in the DTM series back in 2016. When it comes to other forms of motorsport, Ocon’s experience is minimal.

However, he wouldn’t be the first Formula 1 driver to try out a different series — or a whole new discipline.

Former F1 racers Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean have both made waves in the IndyCar series, while other former drivers like Daniil Kvyat have established careers in the World Endurance Championship.

Drastic moves to other series often come with a serious pay cut in exchange for a chance to keep racing; Ocon, like other drivers before him, may not wish to go that route.

Silly season is still young enough that there are plenty of options for Esteban Ocon in Formula 1, and Ocon himself seems to believe he’ll be ready to make announcements about his future soon.

With so much left to play for, it would be a true shock if Ocon failed to find another seat in F1.

Read next: F1 silly season predictions reloaded: The 10 drivers to fill remaining F1 2025 grid slots