Esteban Ocon

Full Name: 
Esteban Ocon
Birth Date: 
16 September, 1996
Birth Place: 
Normandy, France
Driver Status: 
Driver Height: 
Driver Weight: 

Esteban Ocon Biography

A 21-year-old Mercedes junior that looks destined for big things and promises to be France’s next Formula 1 star.

Like many young drivers, Ocon began his motorsport career by entering karting in 2006. Having finished eighth in his rookie season, he claimed the French Mimime Championship - his first title - the following year. Success continued in 2008 for Ocon, as he won the French Cadet Championship, before three years in the KF3 category followed, which he ultimately won in 2011. 

That would be his final season before stepping up to car racing, as Ocon made his single-seater debut in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with Koiranen Motorsport. The youngster, now signed by Gravity Sports Management - a sister company of the Renault F1 team - finished 14th with four points-scoring finishes, including a podium at his home round at Le Castellet.

After a brief spell in Formula Renault 3.5, Ocon moved up to Formula 3 for 2014, racing for Prema Powerteam. An impressive rookie campaign followed, as the Frenchman stormed to the title with a round to spare, having amassed 10 victories across the season. Next up came GP3, and again, Ocon excelled. Now at ART Grand Prix, he claimed the championship despite only scoring one race win, reflecting his consistency.

Ocon stepped into DTM and contested the first 10 races of the 2016 season with Mercedes-Benz, which he combined alongside his reserve driver role at Renault. Now part of the Mercedes young driver programme, Ocon graduated to F1 halfway through the 2016 season to replace Rio Haryanto at Manor. 

He made his F1 debut at the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix and was classified second-last but made quick progress, recording his best result in treacherous conditions at the Brazilian Grand Prix, finishing 12th after running inside the points until the final lap. 

A switch to Force India followed in 2017, alongside highly-rated Mexican Sergio Perez. Ocon made a great start to his first full-season in F1, picking up 10th place finishes in each of the opening three races, before claiming seventh at the Russian Grand Prix. A number of clashes with teammate Perez caused tension at the team, but remarkably, Ocon managed points in all but two races in 2017. 

His stunning consistency, dubbed ‘Oconsistency’ would come to end in Brazil, following an all-time record for most consecutive finishes from the start of career, with 27. Despite retirement in Brazil, Ocon ended his first full F1 campaign 8th in the drivers’ standings with 87 points, as Force India secured fourth for the second year in a row. 

Having gained many admirers and praise for his 2017 season, the Frenchman was under pressure to continue his impressive form into 2018, but he managed to live up to the hype with an impressive season that saw him attract interest from a number of rival teams.

However, Ocon was the big loser in a crazy driver market. Having had offers on the table from Renault and McLaren for 2019, Ocon missed out on seats at both teams before also losing his Force India drive after Lance Stroll's father took over the team. Mercedes looked dimly on the situation, but confirmed he would be its third and reserve driver for the year to follow, with his namely firmly in contention for a race seat in 2020.

Ocon remained a regular face in the F1 paddock through his reserve role in 2019, and was unsurprisingly at the top of many shortlists for a drive the following year. Mercedes had first option on its junior, with team principal Toto Wolff spending much of the year wrestling over whether to promote Ocon or stick with Valtteri Bottas. In the end, Bottas kept his seat, but Ocon was swiftly confirmed at Renault for 2020 in place of Nico Hulkenberg to mark his return to the F1 grid.

2020 was a big year for Ocon as he went up against Daniel Ricciardo on his return to the grid following a year on the sidelines. After a slow-ish start to the year - stunning wet qualifying lap in Austria aside - Ocon's performances picked up as the campaign went on. He was comprehensively outclassed by Ricciardo all year, but the Frenchman was pleased with his personal progress as he capped off the season with a breakthrough podium at the Sakhir Grand Prix. 

Ocon will have his work cut out this year as he goes up against returning two-time world champion Fernando Alonso at the rebranded Alpine squad.