‘Not going to happen’ – Esteban Ocon’s F1 2025 options look slim with big move elimination

Jamie Woodhouse
Alpine driver Esteban Ocon under an umbrella at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon.

Esteban Ocon could be looking at a move to the World Endurance Championship with Formula 1 options apparently drying up, Sky F1’s Craig Slater taking Mercedes off the table.

Alpine are on the search for a new F1 2025 driver after it was announced that Ocon will depart the team at the end of the current campaign, but will he find a door that opens to allow him to continue his Formula 1 career?

Esteban Ocon to Mercedes ‘not going to happen’

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

A graduate of the Mercedes Junior Team, Ocon had been speculated as an option for the Silver Arrows as they search for Lewis Hamilton’s replacement, the seven-time World Champion on his way to Ferrari for 2025. But, according to Slater, that is not a possibility.

Also pouring cold water on the idea of a Williams switch, Slater whittled Ocon’s F1 2025 options down to Haas being the most likely, though he is far from the only contender.

“It’s difficult for Ocon,” Slater told Sky Sports News. “He is managed, to a degree, by Toto Wolff who is the team boss at Mercedes. But if Wolff wanted to put him in that seat replacing Lewis Hamilton, that would already have happened. That’s not going to happen.

“I’ve been doing my rounds and finding, pretty much, that most of the doors seem closed to Esteban Ocon at the moment.

“Is there a slight chance he could be in contention for the Audi seat? There’s an offer on the table for Carlos Sainz but he is caught between taking that option or maybe going to Williams, which over the past couple of weeks has emerged as a serious contender for Sainz’s signature.

“Sainz is the most prominent driver out of contract so what he does will allow the other teams to make their decisions because it could bring the Audi or Williams seat into play. But I don’t think he [Ocon] is an option for Williams.

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“Haas at the moment is Ocon’s likeliest chance to stay in F1. He’s one of a number of drivers in contention there.

“My understanding is Oliver Bearman will almost certainly be driving at Haas next year and that would leave the options for them as the likes of Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Ocon, and the incumbent Kevin Magnussen who has maybe a slim possibility of staying there as well.

“Haas at the moment is Ocon’s most likely chance to stay in F1. If it isn’t to be that, it’s almost certainly going to be the World Endurance Championship to carry on his driving career.”

Speaking to media including PlanetF1.com at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Ocon appeared to raise his hand as a potential Mercedes F1 2025 contender, speaking of his continued association with the team.

“I’m still in my mind a Mercedes junior,” he said. “The management side, that hasn’t changed since 2015.

“We are discussing a lot. We will decide what’s best for my future.”

The here and now though sees Ocon and Alpine team-mate Pierre Gasly attempting to help their team recover from a slow start to the F1 2024 campaign, each driver having scored a point.

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