‘All-new 2025 driver line-up’ predicted with Haas confirming ‘serious’ Esteban Ocon talks

Michelle Foster
Esteban Ocon on the grid in Monaco.

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon will leave the team after the 2024 season

Haas could have an “all-new” line-up next season after team boss Ayao Komatsu revealed he is “considering seriously” Esteban Ocon with “youth” taking the second seat.

Having lost Nico Hulkenberg to Sauber, Haas could have an all-new look next season with the under-fire Kevin Magnussen’s contract expiring at the end of this season.

Esteban Ocon to Haas a ‘very realistic possibility’

Although the Dane has helped his team-mate score three of his six points with his bollard tactics, he has managed just one in eight races and has accrued more penalty points than championship points to sit just two away from a race ban.

That coupled with his Monaco Grand Prix crash where he collided with Sergio Perez, his team-mate Hulkenberg caught up in the aftermath, has pundits suggesting his days are numbered.

Haas have several potential candidates that are headlined by three-time Grand Prix winner Carlos Sainz, although Williams seem to be leading the running for his signature, to more recently Alpine’s soon-to-be-former 2021 Hungarian GP winner Ocon.

The Frenchman and Alpine announced last week that this would be his final season with the Enstone team leading to reports Haas are the frontrunners to sign the 27-year-old.

That’s what former F1 driver turned Sky F1 pundit Brundle believes will happen.

“Alpine announced ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix that Ocon will leave at the end of the season, with the mutual decision coming after the Frenchman had caused a crash with team-mate Pierre Gasly at the Monaco Grand Prix,” he said.

“Haas are looking for at least one new driver for next season with Nico Hulkenberg having agreed to join Sauber, while Kevin Magnussen’s contract is also expiring.

“The team have been heavily linked with British teenager Oliver Bearman, and Haas boss Ayao Komatsu’s admission in Canada on Friday that he is seeking a mix of youth and experience gave further credence to speculation over the Ferrari academy driver joining the grid.

“Komatsu also confirmed that talks are underway with Ocon, making an all-new 2025 driver line-up for the American-owned team a very realistic possibility.”

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Esteban Ocon is ‘definitely one’ Haas are ‘considering seriously’

One of only three teams yet to officially confirm either driver for next season, the other two being Alpine and RB, Komatsu revealed during Friday’s press conference in Canada that he wants a mix of experience and youth.

Predicted to sign Ferrari junior Oliver Bearman, Haas want an experienced driver such as Ocon alongside the Briton with an announcement expected in the coming weeks.

“Not too far, not immediate, but not too far,” Komatsu said of Haas’ timing. “So let’s say, yeah, within a couple of weeks to months, shall I say.

“As a team we are growing up. We are improving the team. So a pretty dynamic situation.

“I think the mixture of good youth and then experience to give us the reference would be a pretty exciting combination.”

The Haas team boss was asked specifically about Ocon, telling Sky F1: “He’s got a lot of experience. He’s a race winner, he’s got podium finishes and he’s scored many points.

“He’s also worked with a few different teams so he’s got lots of experience, which is what we’re looking for but also he’s only 27, still very young. I think his commitment and work ethic is really, really good.

“I’m talking with several of the current F1 drivers, experienced guys, as well as some of the young drivers F1 drivers.

“He’s definitely one of the several I’m considering seriously.”

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