Known in the F1 paddock as “Team Enstone”, the current Alpine F1 team has seen many name changes over its 42-year history. Originally starting out as Toleman in the 1980s, notably facilitating the debut of Ayrton Senna in 1984, taking a memorable 2nd place in the Monaco GP of the same year. Benetton Group purchased the team, running under the Benetton name from 1986-2001. After a single race with Jordan, Michael Schumacher’s career kicked off, racing with the team from 1991-95 and winning back-to-back World Driver’s Championships in 1994/95. Schumacher’s departure coincided with a slow decline in on-track performance, with the team being purchased by Renault in 2001. Armed with the talented Fernando Alonso, Renault climbed back up the standings culminating in another back-to-back Driver’s World Championship courtesy of Alonso in 2005/06. The famous Lotus name made a brief return from 2012-15 with the Genii Capital Group buying out Renault, winning two races with Kimi Raikkonen. The French marquee returned in 2016, renaming the team to Alpine from the 2021 season onward with Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, the former taking his first race win in the 2021 Hungarian GP. The 2023 season will see an all-French lineup with Ocon being paired with former Red Bull and Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly.
DOB: 17th September 1996
Lives in: Geneva, Switzerland
Current Team: BWT Alpine F1 Team
Esteban Ocon’s rise to Formula One was not a typical graduation through the feeder series. Ocon raced karts from the age of 10 in 2006, winning championships competing against countrymen Gasly and the late Anthoine Hubert. 2012 saw Ocon’s single seater career begin, racing in Formula Renault for two years before graduating to European Formula 3, winning the title on his first attempt. Ocon dominated this season, beating the likes of Max Verstappen to the championship with three races to spare. Ocon moved to GP3 (now F3) in 2015 and won this title in his first attempt. 2016 saw Ocon move away from single-seaters and into DTM as a Mercedes junior, while also being loaned out as Renault’s reserve driver. Later in the 2016 season saw Ocon’s F1 chance materialise, debuting for the now defunct Manor team for the second half of the season. Ocon earned a move up the grid with Force India in 2017/18 alongside Sergio Perez, scoring points in his first race for the team and generally showing well against his more experienced teammate with a best finish of 5th place. Force India being bought out by Lawrence Stroll midway through 2018 meant that there was no room for Ocon, who took up a reserve role at Mercedes for 2019. Ocon re-joined the grid in 2020 racing for Renault alongside Daniel Ricciardo, earning his first Formula One podium finishing 2nd at the Sakhir Grand Prix. It got better in 2021 as Renault became Alpine, Ocon winning his first race at the wet 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, before finishing ahead of double world champion Fernando Alonso in the 2022 standings. Ocon holds the current F1 record of most consecutive race finishes from the start of his career – 27.
DOB: 7th February 1996
Lives in: Milan, Italy
Current Team: BWT Alpine F1 Team
Born in the same city of Rouen, France as 2023 Alpine teammate Ocon, Pierre Gasly’s family had been involved in motor racing through three generations, all but ensuring Pierre would follow a similar career trajectory. First racing a kart at the age of 6, Gasly grew up racing with the likes of fellow F1 drivers Charles Leclerc and Esteban Ocon. Starting his single-seater career in 2011, Gasly raced in the French Formula 4 championship, winning three races in his debut season, including victory at Spa. Gasly’s first championship came in the 2013 season in which he won the Formula Renault Eurocup title. It was late 2013 that saw Gasly’s career take another step closer to F1, joining the Red Bull Junior Team alongside Carlos Sainz Jnr and graduating to GP2 (now known as F2). Racing for the Prema team in 2016 alongside Antonio Giovinazzi, Gasly won the 2016 GP2 series championship. More success followed in 2017, Gasly winning the Japanese Super Formula series amidst his Formula One debut for the Toro Rosso team. Gasly became a full-time Formula One driver from the 2018 season, impressing from very start – the highlight being a 4th place finish in the opening race of the season at Bahrain. With Daniel Ricciardo departing the Red Bull senior team, there was an opening alongside Max Verstappen, earning Gasly a promotion to a race-winning team. Unfortunately for Gasly, a poor run of results meant he was replaced by Alex Albon after the Hungarian GP of 2019. Back at Toro Rosso, Gasly responded in the best way possible, finishing on the podium at the 2019 Brazilian GP in second place ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Despite his strong finish to the season, 2020 saw Gasly remain at the re-named Alpha Tauri team. The highlight of Gasly’s F1 career thus far came in the 2020 Italian GP, winning an incident-filled race and becoming the first Frenchman to win an F1 race since Olivier Panis in 1996 – Gasly’s year of birth! Retained for 2021 at Alpha Tauri, Gasly had his best season in F1 to date, finishing 9th in the standings with 110pts and a best finish of 3rd place at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. With a more uncompetitive Alpha Tauri for a third consecutive season in 2022, Gasly outshone teammate Yuki Tsunoda over the season finishing with 23pts and a best finish of 5th – again at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Thanks to the driver market musical chairs and subsequent vacancy, Gasly signed a multi-year contract with Alpine, partnering up with childhood friend and rival Esteban Ocon for 2023 and beyond.