On Wednesday French Formula One concern Alpine locked in its 2022 lineup, extending Esteban Ocon’s contract through the end of 2024, where he will continue to partner former World Champion Fernando Alonso through at least the end of next season. The 24-year-old joined the team formerly known as Renault last season for a two-year contract.
Ocon scored a rare podium in 2020 at the anomalous Sakhir Grand Prix, finishing 12th in the points standings just behind Lance Stroll and just ahead of Sebastian Vettel, but trailing teammate Daniel Ricciardo significantly. Thus far in 2021 Ocon has managed to finish more consistently in the points, though still finds himself sitting 12th in the championship standings as of this writing. With one retirement each, he and teammate Fernando Alonso are separated by just one point, 12 and 13 points respectively.
Alpine is the fourth team to officially lock in its 2022 lineup exactly the same as its 2021 pairing, after Haas, McLaren, and Ferrari of course. Obviously Aston Martin is quite likely to continue with Vettel and Stroll next season, but only Vettel’s contract has officially been announced. The field is finally shaping up, but don’t expect it to be fully locked in for at least a few months. Every open seat and every unsigned contract is waiting for Lewis Hamilton to decide what he’s doing next year.
We’re filled with questions about the 2022 season as things stand. Will Lewis decide to retire? Will Sergio Perez continue on at Red Bull? Will George Russell finally get his ride with Mercedes? Where will Valtteri Bottas go? Will Stellantis even bother continuing the Alfa Romeo Sauber team? Does Pierre Gasly deserve a better seat?
There are several months of racing to go in 2021, as the F1 calendar doesn’t end until mid-December, but the silly season has already begun. Drop your ideal F1 lineups in the comments below. Where do you want drivers to end up, and why?