Two big F1 drivers ruled out but “one name” touted for vacant 2025 Alpine seat

Talks did not progress with two major F1 names

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A524 waves at the end of the race. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A524 waves at the end of the race…

The chase to replace Esteban Ocon at Alpine is on.

The manufacturer has endured a difficult year, with the latest chapter being the axing of Ocon for 2025.

Despite their ongoing problems, the lure of a vacant Formula 1 drive has attracted several drivers although two have already been ruled out of contention.

“Carlos Sainz has had talks with Alpine,” Sky Sports’ Craig Slater reported.

“But I’m told it’s a no-go.

“Valtteri Bottas has also had some discussions with Alpine.

“But those talks did not progress.

“What about Mick Schumacher? He is driving in endurance racing for the team.

“I’m told he is down the pecking order, in terms of getting a F1 race seat next year.

“One name which keeps coming back is Zhou Guanyu.

“He used to be in the Alpine academy. And there’s also commercial reasons why he might be desirable for them.

“For a start, it exposes Alpine to the enormous Chinese market, which is the biggest automobile market in the world.

“There has also been a recent car alliance between Renault - which is Alpine’s parent company - and [Chinese company] Geely.”

Zhou and Sauber teammate Bottas are both out of contract this year.

Nico Hulkenberg has been signed up by Sauber for 2025 before they evolve into Audi a year later.

So, at least one of Zhou or Bottas will be out of a job.

Alpine boss Bruno Famin made it very clear what he is looking for in Ocon’s replacement.

"I think the relationship doesn't matter. The professionalism matters,” he demanded.

“We need professional drivers.”

Ocon irked his bosses with a first-lap collision with teammate Pierre Gasly in Monaco.

Jack Doohan - Alpine’s reserve driver - and Victor Martins - who drives for the team in Formula 2 - are contenders to replace Ocon.

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