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Ocon delivers Alpine team-mate wish

Ocon delivers Alpine team-mate wish

Ocon delivers Alpine team-mate wish

Ocon delivers Alpine team-mate wish

Esteban Ocon has identified Haas driver Mick Schumacher as his dream team-mate to replace Fernando Alonso at Alpine next season.

Alonso stunned the paddock at the beginning of the summer break by announcing a switch to Aston Martin in place of the retiring Sebastian Vettel.

The French manufacturer quickly announced reserve driver Oscar Piastri as Alonso's replacement, only for the reigning F2 champion to deny that a deal had been signed.

The Australian's future is currently under the influence of the Contract Recognition Board with a move to McLaren likely. A ruling from the CRB is expected imminently.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer suggested there was a 14-man 'shortlist' of potential drivers to replace Alonso, but Ocon has named Schumacher as his personal preference.

"Of course, there is a lot of talk going on at the moment since Fernando's departure," said Ocon.

"I am sure whoever will be on my side, the team will take the right decision.

"People know my choice, if I had anything to say, would be Mick if he doesn't have anything lined up next year but whoever it will be, I will be focused on my job, developing the car, trying to pull the team forward and that is what I want to do."

Why Ocon favours Schumacher

Schumacher has endured a tough start to life in F1 with a woefully uncompetitive car in his rookie season meaning he could only battle then-team-mate Nikita Mazepin.

Whilst Haas has improved this term, another difficult start saw Schumacher struggle to match team-mate Kevin Magnussen with the German's future in question before a brace of points scores in Great Britain and Austria.

"Mick, he is a good friend of mine first of all so if I can help on that, that is no problem," added Ocon.

"He has shown his talents, in the junior categories as well. He has been very fast. Sometimes in F1, it is not easy to perform with a car that is a bit on the back foot.

"I had that when I started in F1. He is a great guy and I am sure he could perform very well if he joined a competitive car and at the moment the Alpine is competitive.

"They are just my words, I don't have the decision to take but the team knows this would be my preference."

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