Guanyu Zhou is Gasly’s likely partner for 2025

The French press is actively commenting on the events surrounding Alpine, the works team of the Renault group, and the main points of the heated discussion were outlined by Fred Ferre, a racing correspondent for the authoritative publication L’Equipe, who is participating in the next edition . episode of the F1 Nation podcast.

In France, Esteban Ocon had, at least until recently, a very good reputation. But the incident in Monaco ruined things considerably, and last Monday all the newspapers wrote that Ocon could be suspended for one race, and that he would only get behind the wheel again in Spain.

However, in reality, such a development of events was hardly possible, and this is the reason: the current contract under which Esteban participates in Alpine does not allow this. Ocon is still a Mercedes driver and it is possible that Toto Wolff reminded Alpine management that they simply have no right to remove Esteban from racing.

A young driver could take the wheel of Ocon’s car, but only during the first Friday practice session, and it is likely that this will soon be entrusted to Alpine F1 reserve driver Jack Douhan.

Although Toto Wolff is in charge of the Frenchman’s career, it is not worth assuming that Esteban will become George Russell’s partner in 2025. Carlos Sainz is awaiting Mercedes’ decision, and further developments in the driver market depend on which team the experienced and fast Spaniard, who is rated higher than Ocon, will commit his future to.

If it turns out that Mercedes really does not want Carlos, he can, for example, sign a contract with Williams for a period of one year, after which Esteban will be given the opportunity to move to Sauber. But his switch to Haas is also not excluded.

Speculating on the drivers who could take Ocon’s place at Alpine, the French press is praising Guanyu Zhou’s chances as he is backed by Chinese carmaker Geely, which has close business ties with Renault. A year ago, the two automotive giants signed a cooperation agreement, and this circumstance creates special conditions for Zhou to become a driver for the factory team of the French concern.

However, this is not yet a fact, especially since Alpine’s reserve team includes not only Jack Douin, but also the young Frenchman Victor Martin, who now races in Formula 2. Things weren’t going well for him at the start of the season, but if he can make noticeable improvements, he could also be considered a candidate for Gasly’s partner spot.

It is true that Pierre’s own fate is also in question, but the team is very keen for him to stay. And of course we should not forget that Alpine in endurance racing is driven by Mick Schumacher, who dreams of returning to Formula 1. According to Bruno Famen, the head of Alpine, Mick’s chances are better than you might think.

The French press, discussing the team’s prospects, summarizes them as follows: Famen has many candidates, but none of them are really attractive. Moreover, an argument is made that many have already forgotten: three years ago Fernando Alonso played for Alpine, and Oscar Piastri was in the reserve. But both chose to part ways with the Enstone team.

Compared to them, all the other names mentioned clearly look much paler.

Source: F1 News

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