Alpine has retained Esteban Ocon after the two signed a long-term deal of three years to be together in F1, thereby extending it to a total of five seasons.

The talks between Ocon and Alpine were on for some weeks now, with the French manufacturer aiming to retain the services of the Frenchman alongside Fernando Alonso, beyond its current F1 deal, which was to end at the end of the 2021 season.

While the retention of Ocon at Alpine doesn’t comes as a surprise, where Mercedes’ Toto Wolff gave the Frenchman a free hand too, the years of the deal is a surprise. They have signed a three-year deal, only behind Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc with a long one.

It will keep Ocon at Alpine until 2024, where one seat is set, while Alonso’s future will depend on how the 2022 F1 season pans out. The Frenchman is another seat finalised for next year and comes after the early announcement of Lando Norris.

“We are very proud to retain Esteban as part of the Alpine family. Since returning to the team in 2020, Esteban has grown in confidence and stature to deliver consistently good results and help develop the car with the team,” said Alpine chief, Laurent Rossi. “Despite his young age, he is very experienced in Formula 1 and he’s on a positive trajectory in both his maturity and ability behind the wheel.

“He is a strong asset for us now, and also going forward as we meet the challenge of the new regulations. We have every confidence in Esteban to help drive the team and the brand to the next level and meet its long-term objectives. Esteban is an asset for us beyond F1 as he is deeply involved in the Alpine global project. Thanks to his personality and values, Esteban is naturally a perfect ambassador of Alpine. For now, we look forward to continuing the 2021 campaign at our home Grand Prix in France and doing the best possible job at every remaining race weekend.”

At the same time, Ocon, stated: “I’m delighted to continue with the team beyond this year and it’s a fantastic feeling to secure my future with Alpine. We’ve been progressing well together since I joined the team and I aim to continue that journey going forward. There are great challenges ahead of us, especially with the new regulations in 2022.

“I’m sure we can hit our targets by working hard together and continuing the story. I often think back to the Sakhir Grand Prix last year with the podium, and it motivates me to create more special memories like that. I’m really looking forward to the next chapter but, for now, we’re very much focused on this season and taking each race as it comes,” summed up Ocon, whose stay at Alpine will now be of five seasons.

Here’s Alpine on having its rear wing changed for French GP