SPIELBERG, Austria -- Esteban Ocon believes the $218 million investment in Alpine by an investor group including Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds can help the team become a regular Formula One race-winning operation.
Otro Capital and RedBird Capital Partners have taken a 24% equity stake in the F1 team, owned by Renault, valuing it at around $900m.
Reynolds, star of the 'Deadpool' franchise, and Rob McElhenney have propelled English Football League club Wrexham into the global spotlight since taking over in November 2020, thanks in part to Disney+ docuseries 'Welcome to Wrexham'.
Ocon, who claimed Alpine's first race win at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix and scored a podium at the Monaco Grand Prix in May, has already made plans to visit Reynolds on the set of the upcoming 'Deadpool' movie.
"I think it's fantastic," Ocon said of the big-name stars involved in the investment.
"I was extremely lucky to be able to chat on Tuesday with Ryan. We exchanged a couple of WhatsApps together. He told me I was invited obviously on the set in London for the Deadpool movie, so I'm definitely going to be going.
"He's someone that is very inspiring in what he does, also outside his acting world, he's an extremely talented businessman as well."
Ocon hopes Reynolds' success with Wrexham and in other businesses can rub off on the Alpine team.
"I think all what Ryan has done recently, his company has been extremely successful. There hasn't been any failures that I know. I think he's a very good asset, him and his team behind, to our team."
Ocon said the investment proves Alpine is serious in its ambitions to reach the top of F1.
"We know where we want to take the team, we want to take the team up there, to be fighting for podiums, for wins, as soon as possible," he said.
When Renault rebranded its F1 team to Alpine in 2021, it outlined for itself a four-year plan to become champions.
Despite Ocon's win in Hungary that year the team has struggled to progress from the midfield in the time since.
Speaking after the investment was confirmed this week, Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi said Aston Martin's turnaround from seventh last year to a regular podium contender in 2023 has given his team the reality check it needed to act quickly.
When asked how long he thought it would take for Alpine to follow a similar trajectory to Aston Martin, Ocon replied: "As quickly as possible! I'm not here to waste time.
"When we were third in Monaco, we didn't let Ferrari pass because we thought they were ahead of us. We want to obviously fight for these positions as quickly as possible."