Ocon has what it takes to guide the F1 staff in 2023

Szafnauer says that the Frenchman’s solely weak point is that he can take too lengthy to seek out the boundaries initially of the race weekend.

Aston Martin introduced final week that it had signed Alonso for 2023, and it’s not but clear who will substitute him on the Enstone outfit.

The staff had hoped to fit reserve driver Oscar Piastri into the seat, and introduced him final Tuesday.

Nevertheless, the Australian is known to have signed a contract with McLaren and shortly took to social media to disclaim that he could be racing for Alpine subsequent yr.

Whereas Alpine continues to be pursuing its declare on Piastri, with the matter anticipated to go to the Contract Recognition Board, the staff administration is now contemplating different drivers.

The record consists of former Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg, however lots of the candidates have much less expertise than Ocon, probably leaving him as de facto staff chief subsequent yr.

Szafnauer says that Ocon proved his price alongside Sergio Perez at Power India/Racing Level in 2017 and 2018.

“Esteban is a brilliant expertise,” he famous. “I labored with him at Power India and people have been the times of Sergio Perez as his team-mate.

“And he was as fast as Sergio and raced Sergio laborious, and for those who keep in mind these days, they have been at all times collectively on the grid. And typically they even got here collectively within the races! And we see what Sergio is able to.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Team, Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal, Alpine F1, and Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1 Team

Esteban Ocon, Alpine F1 Workforce, Otmar Szafnauer, Workforce Principal, Alpine F1, and Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1 Workforce

Photograph by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Pictures

“With Fernando too, though Fernando’s obtained the ability and the expertise to get a lap out of the automotive in a short time.

“He wants three or 4 laps and he’s at 99%, or 99.9%, and that additional 0.1% comes with a number of laps extra, if what I imply, whereas Esteban takes a little bit bit extra time to get the utmost out of the automotive.

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“However finally, on Saturday, after which Sunday, he is there. So he must be taught a little bit bit to get there a bit quicker. However we’re working with him on that.

“And thereafter, can he lead the staff? For certain he is getting higher and higher. He is obtained a race win below his belt. He’s scored good factors for us this yr. And he’ll be taught extra by the point we get to subsequent yr.”

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