On Wednesday, Alpine announced that Ocon had signed a new three-year deal to keep him with the team until the end of 2024.

The former Manor and Force India driver has been a star performer in 2021, often enjoying a performance advantage over two-time F1 champion teammate Fernando Alonso.

“It's fantastic news obviously coming into the French GP, it’s a place I love and enjoy, will have the fans out there cheering for us, we’ll have the French colours on the car so it’s awesome,” Ocon said. “Yeah coming with the news for 3 more years is something mega, it is a big step in my career, and I look forward to writing more memories with this team.

“It feels good, it is a weight off the shoulders I would say, so I can only focus on the performance and what matters now the rest is secured. I’ve felt good with the team, well integrated, the atmosphere is fantastic and we’re working nicely, and obviously we have a great chance of doing good things next year with the new regulations so it’s definitely a perfect place for me to be staying.”

Ocon has been supported by Mercedes since 2015 and acted as its reserve driver in 2019, having been dropped by Force India at the end of the previous season.

Despite his connections to the reigning world champions, Ocon stressed that he’s “completely a fully Alpine driver”.

“So I’m completely a fully Alpine driver for the next three years, that’s where I stand at the moment,” Ocon added. “For sure there is still connections with Mercedes but the job I’m doing is with Alpine, and fully Alpine, but there will be nothing and no interaction with the Mercedes Grand Prix team.”

The Frenchman was then asked if he had been in talks with Mercedes about replacing Valtteri Bottas for 2022, he replied: “I mean, I don’t really have to comment on that. What I know is I feel really good here, being with Alpine for three more years, that’s all I care about in the end and need to focus on in the future.

“It’s a great decision for me, for my career, massive step forward, and it’s the longest deal I’ve ever had in motorsport in my whole career. So coming from where I was a couple of years ago it is an awesome position to be in so I’m really pleased.”