RACE DEBRIEF

    Esteban Ocon will be back behind the wheel on Thursday, but rather than taking control of his Formula 1 car, he’ll be driving the Alpine A110S sports car on a series of special stage runs during this week’s Rallye Monte-Carlo…

    The Frenchman, who scored his first F1 podium last year and will partner returning double world champion Fernando Alonso this season as the Renault team rebrands as Alpine, will be taking part in a rally event for the first time.

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    He’ll kick off his experience as the VIP course car with a morning shakedown to get to grips with the car on the world’s most famous rally.

    Ocon will then tackle the first super special stage – a 20.58km route from Saint-Disdier to Corps and then a second between Saint-Maurice and Saint-Bonnet.

    Rallying has actually always been a dream for me, so driving the A110S in Monte-Carlo is a brilliant way to begin the year

    Esteban Ocon
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    Ocon will be at the wheel of this Alpine A110S (Image: Anjuna Hartmann)

    He’ll be taking to the stage alongside reigning world champion Sebastien Ogier, and Pierre-Louis Loubet - who Ocon trains with during the winter off-season.

    “This is a fantastic opportunity and I certainly cannot wait to experience Rallye Monte-Carlo for the first time,” said Ocon. “It’s a legendary event, a jewel in the calendar of motorsport and I know how special being part of it will be.

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    “I’m looking forward to driving the beautiful Alpine A110S. I had my first taste of the A110 in October with three laps of the Nordschleife. It was great that day; very comfortable and agile to drive.

    “It’s born for this kind of challenge with the tight hairpins and mountain passes. Rallying has actually always been a dream for me, so driving the A110S in Monte-Carlo is a brilliant way to begin the year.”