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Alpine prepares for new horizons without Ocon and Gasly

Alpine prepares for new horizons without Ocon and Gasly
© Reuters
Bruno Famin, team boss at Alpine, is confident that the team will continue to prosper even if their current drivers, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, decide to leave.

Bruno Famin, team boss at Alpine, is confident that the team will continue to prosper even if their current drivers, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, decide to leave.

Despite Alpine showing some signs of recovery from their 2024 downturn, it's clear that both Gasly and Ocon are exploring options in the dynamic current driver market. At Imola, Ocon indicated he would consider a one-year stint at Mercedes alongside his manager Toto Wolff next year, while Gasly has been associated with potential moves to Haas, Williams, and Sauber.

"There is no pressure on us," Famin stated at Imola. "We are satisfied with our drivers, but right now we want to focus on the technical side of things. We can deal with the driver issue later."

Famin also clarified that maintaining an all-French driver lineup has not been a strategic goal. "Alpine's project is to become a global brand," he explained, adding, "We are happy to have a French driver on the team, but we are just as happy to have others."

The experience both Ocon and Gasly bring, however, is valuable, especially as Alpine aims to rebuild and strengthen. "We are open to everything," Famin mentioned regarding their potential departure. He further noted, "Naturally it's good to have at least one experienced driver, but we're happy to give young people a chance too, if the opportunity arises."

Mick Schumacher, currently involved with Mercedes as an F1 reserve and racing for Alpine in their Le Mans program, is seen as a potential candidate. "Of course he is a possibility," said Famin, who is also impressed by Schumacher's adaptability and performance in endurance racing. "Mick does an amazing job in endurance and his mentality is really impressive. He's fast, of course, but I think everyone knows that, but what's really incredible to me is how he's been able to adapt to the mentality required in endurance."

Jack Doohan, another promising candidate and the son of motorcycle racing legend Mick Doohan, has also been putting in significant effort to advance his career with the Enstone based team. After completing a test outing at Zandvoort last week, which included qualifying and Grand Prix simulations, as well as practice starts, Doohan expressed his dedication. "I have to put in the kilometres and get used to race weekends," he told NOS, emphasizing his commitment to both on-track and off-track preparations. "For now, I do my work on the track when I get the chance, but also the work off the track or in the simulator. That's all I can do."

He remains hopeful about his future with the team, saying, "I hope I'll be in the car next year," and affirming, "Hopefully the guys see that I'm giving it my all. I have been with the team for a number of years, but this year I'm a full reserve driver with my full focus on this program. It would be nice to use that."

Doohan is optimistic about his prospects, aiming for his next appearance at Zandvoort to be as an Alpine race driver. "That would mean this test was worth it," he remarked with a smile, reflecting the aspirations of many young drivers, "That's what we work towards as drivers."

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Mick Schumacher at the Abu Dhabi GP on November 25, 2023
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