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F1 star 'very high up' Audi list for shock team switch

F1 star 'very high up' Audi list for shock team switch

F1 star 'very high up' Audi list for shock team switch

F1 star 'very high up' Audi list for shock team switch

Formula 1 journalist Lawrence Barretto has revealed that Alpine driver Esteban Ocon could be 'very high up' on Audi's list of potential drivers for 2026.

The German car brand have been confirmed to be joining the F1 grid from that particular season, taking over from the current Stake F1 team.

While this has led to confidence from Valtteri Bottas that he will be offered a seat, the other driver spot still looks to be up in the air.

Having been outperformed by Bottas during their two seasons together at Alfa Romeo (now known as Stake), Zhou Guanyu's place within the team looks to be in some doubt, with Audi likely to want to make a statement signing upon their inception into F1.

27-year-old Esteban Ocon is a very experienced F1 driver
Could Mattia Binotto become Audi's team principal in 2026?
Valtteri Bottas believes he's a shoo-in for a spot with the Audi team in 2026

Audi's driver rumours

While Mattia Binotto has been rumoured to be fancied for the team principal job, rumours about the likes of Lando Norris and Max Verstappen have come and gone since Audi were first touted for F1.

However, Barretto believes it's a certain French driver who may be making a splash with Sauber CEO Andrea Seidl. Ocon's current contract runs out with Alpine at the end of 2024.

“While Alpine may be interested in keeping Ocon for another season, sources say Sauber-run Stake have the Frenchman very high up on their list as they prepare the operation to become Audi in 2026," he told F1's official website.

“He is one of a number of drivers CEO Andreas Seidl is believed to be assessing as he looks to morph the team first into a serial midfield contender and then an operation that can fight for podiums, wins and ultimately championships.”

READ MORE: Audi announce major 2026 setback amid F1 preparations

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