Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi said recently that Alpine driver Estaban Ocon, who recently signed a new three-year deal until 2024 has the potential to be a top driver and that Rossi has no doubts regarding the decision.
Although the move was met with skepticism in F1, due to Ocon’s lack of major achievements in Formula 1 thus far, Rossi came to the defense of Alpine’s decision, stating that signing Ocon was “taking almost zero risk”.
“I would not let anyone say he is a lesser driver than Carlos [Sainz of Ferrari] or any of the so-called second drivers of the top teams,” Rossi said.
“He might not be guaranteed world champion material. Who can be dubbed this way? Not many drivers at the moment.”
Rossi has stated that Ocon has all it takes to become a top driver and added on about the team’s performance thus far, stating that the team is hopeful for the 2022 season, seeing a ruined 2021 season due to wind tunnel problems.
“At the very least I have myself an excellent second driver, and I frankly think he has all it takes to become a top driver,” Rossi added, regarding Ocon. “I have confidence we can deliver better than this year because it is not a satisfying performance.
“Seventh is not where we want to be. If we finish at this place, even though we knew the car was not gonna be world champion, it will still be a disappointment,” Rossi concluded.