According to reports, Alpine driver Esteban Ocon has emerged as an option to replace Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton if he retires.
Hamilton’s future continues to be up in the air after the 2021 season finale. With the 2022 season approaching in a few weeks, Mercedes cannot afford to go into it without a driver, especially one of the seven-time world champion’s calibre.
The German team is confident their star driver will return, but in the event he doesn’t, they need to look for replacements. With credible alternatives few and far between, they seem to have identified one in short notice.
Ocon has emerged as an option for the Brackley team to replace Hamilton if he retires according to theJudge13.
Ocon has a special connection to Mercedes. In fact, it was Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff who made a call that ensured his return to F1. If their plan has to be triggered, we could see the Frenchman link up with George Russell in 2022.
The team would be making a good choice with Ocon. He does not have any links to Mercedes’ rival teams. Although he is still under contract with Alpine, it will not be much of a hassle for Mercedes to sign him.
Moreover, if Alpine do end up losing their driver, they always have a backup in the form of 2022 reserve driver and F2 champion Oscar Piastri. Many have clamoured for Piastri to get an F1 seat, and this could be the way he does it.
As for Ocon, he has come a long way since his Racing Point days. 2021 was his best season, and that’s not just because he took an absolutely staggering win at the Hungarian GP.