Alpine focused on keeping 'great' Ocon, rule out Gasly interest

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Alpine is working on keeping Esteban Ocon in 2022 after an impressive start to this season.

The Frenchman is out of contract and has been mentioned as a possible Mercedes candidate due to his continued allegiance to the German manufacturer.

However, with four top-10's in the first five races and having outshone Fernando Alonso so far, Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi is keen to keep Ocon in his ranks.

“It's indeed something we're considering,” he said of offering a new contract.

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“Esteban is doing everything to make me consider keeping him in the team. I would be remiss if I didn't think about it, so obviously at the moment, we're already engaged in some conversations with his agent, his management team, Mercedes at large.

“Esteban is a great driver, so I'm happy to have that type of problem – which is not [one] actually!" he added.

“We knew he's extremely talented. He's been racing against all of the drivers, or most of the drivers, when he was younger... and he was always consistently beating them most of the time, so I knew he had a lot of talent.

“It's the second year, so he's started having good references in the team. We also made some modifications to his own team and the way we build up the race weekends and the qualification, so it shows the guy's talent. I think he's where he should be, which is good.”

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Another name often linked with Alpine in recent months is Pierre Gasly, who may be looking for an escape route away from AlphaTauri for 2022.

However, Rossi confirmed the Enstone-based team won't be a potential outlet.

“We're not looking at any drivers for next year,” he stated.

“At the moment, I'm considering obviously Esteban as we mentioned earlier on. Fernando is here next year with us, so if we want to carry on with the momentum we have, we'll do that.

“Pierre is obviously a great driver, of value, but at the moment, this is not in our cards, I would say.”