Both Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso are unlikely to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans or other events in order to fully concentrate on Formula 1 duties.
In an interview given after the A521 launch, Laurent Rossi made Alpine’s ambitions clear and gave an end to the rumors of Esteban Ocon or Fernando Alonso driving Alpine’s Hypercar in 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“For now they are focused on Formula One and just Formula One, it’s already a lot of work”, says Alpine’s CEO. In the same interview, Laurent Rossi asserted his ambitions with Alpine for the new era of Formula One – winning championships – and he will need commitment and hard work from his drivers to achieve his goals.
“We don’t exclude that at some points, under some circumstances, they could participate but for now we’re not mixing the two. […] We’re focusing on F1, F1 is clearly at the center, we cannot afford to distract the drivers”, he added. Esteban Ocon already showed interest in taking part in some races in other series than Formula One like the 24 Hours of Le Mans or the Rallye of Monte Carlo, in which he has already participated this year behind the wheel of an Alpine 110S. However, the french driver remains concentrated on the upcoming season.
Being asked about his ambitions to drive at Le Mans, he comments: “Our goal is definitely Formula 1, and at 200 percent. That’s what we’ve been fighting for. But yes, if the opportunity comes up one day, and we discuss it with Alpine, then maybe, but that’s not what we’re focusing on right now.”
In the case of Fernando Alonso, the two-time Formula One world champion is for now focused on getting good results in the A521. The Spaniard thinks that he will need some time before getting back at his best level of driving in Formula One.
Asked about his condition and his ambitions for the 2021 season, Alonso declared: “I think it will take some races actually.” The Formula One legend is concerned about the short winter tests and is not sure if he is going to have enough preparation for his season with only a few hours of practice in the car. It looks like the Spanish driver is 100% focused on Formula One and participating in other series should be the least of his worries.
Alpine definitely has a lot of work in perspective to develop the 2022 challenger that they hope should bring them to the highest level of F1. Nevertheless, the team looks very focused and ready to fight for third place in team standings in the 2021 season.