F1 2024 strugglers giving drivers ‘a lot to consider’ before committing their futures

Henry Valantine
Alpine F1 drivers pull into the pits with Pierre Gasly ahead of Esteban Ocon

Both Alpine drivers have endured a difficult start to the 2024 season.

Both Alpine drivers are waiting to commit their F1 futures to the team, with both Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon weighing up their options while working “flat out” to improve their current fortunes on track.

Alpine started the year at the back of the field, Gasly admitting the A524 was “not well born”, but Ocon scored the team’s first point of the season in Miami at the weekend as they have gradually clawed their way back towards the midfield.

Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon discuss their F1 futures with Alpine

Alpine welcomed David Sanchez back to ‘Team Enstone’ as executive technical director recently after his short stint with McLaren in a key signing for the team, with a restructure in their off-track running looking at bringing about improvements on race weekends.

With both Gasly and Ocon out of contract at the end of the season as it stands and a host of other seats still available on the grid, Gasly explained that the next deal he takes will be made with the upcoming 2026 regulation changes in mind.

He admitted the current car has not been strong enough, but the team are doing all they can to bring themselves back to competitiveness as soon as possible.

“Yeah, there are a couple of good signings for the team,” Gasly told media in Miami.

“I think [the] big picture is we know that car is not well born, and it does happen that some years you get it right, and some years, you just get it wrong.

“And I think the most important [thing] is how we are able to react from it. So I’m aware that it does take some time. I can’t expect a massive change in a very short space of time, but I feel like we’ve got enough data now to really spot what’s working and what’s not.

“Then it’s a matter of how we tackle it, because you’re almost in May, obviously looking at this current season and what’s achievable, what’s possible for next year, and at the same time, ‘26 as well, which is going to require a lot of work and a complete new car.

“So there is quite a lot to consider, but I can see all the processes that goes at the factory and, at the end of the day, I’m aware it’s going to take time, but it’s important we do react and not stay with what we’ve got at the minute, which is not competitive enough.”

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Alpine are also one of the factory engine teams on the F1 2026 grid through Renault, and when asked if the progress of the team’s power unit is a factor in his decision over where his future may lie, Gasly was quick to admit it is.

“That would be silly not to [look at it],” Gasly responded.

“I mean, it’s obviously something that is very important, especially at the minute, looking at the future and making sure that I am in a position to be in a competitive car.

“So obviously, I see the progress and it doesn’t take any focus that I have right now, which is to make the best out of what we’ve got today, but it’s obviously something I’m looking from a close eye at the factory.”

For Ocon, he retains links to Mercedes through his management – and clarified earlier in the season he is still on the Silver Arrows’ books as a junior driver.

With a vacancy available at the team next season and others around the grid, when asked about what might happen for 2025 and beyond, Ocon remained non-committal – but reiterated his desire to push Alpine as far as he can in the here and now.

“You never know what the future will hold,” Ocon said. “Obviously, I’m working flat out with the team.

“I’ve always believed being inside that project now for a while and you know, I signed [for] three years, three years ago for a reason.

“We’ll see what happens in the future, but at the moment, I’m working race by race, and we’ll see what the future holds.

“Things are changing. We saw [with] the announcement of David Sanchez, the team is making an effort to change things, and this team is not happy with the situation overall, of being where we are.

“We should be progressing and not going backwards, like has been this case in this year.

“So, the board, Renault, all the team members, they are competitors, and they want to be doing well and, obviously, that is a very strong topic for me on my side to know that, [to] want to progress towards the front and not just be satisfied with the situation.”

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