Esteban Ocon may have given the biggest clue yet that he’s leaning towards Haas having called the team an “example” with their 2024 progress.

Having finished bottom of the log last season with a mere 12 points, this year Haas are already up to 27 and sit seventh in the Constructors’ Championship.

Esteban Ocon is being widely linked to Haas for F1 2025

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher and Sam Cooper

Under new leadership in Ayao Komatsu, who replaced the ousted Guenther Steiner, the team has not only put more upgrades on the track than they did last season, but they’re also racing with their elbows out.

Playing an intense team game, although at times overstepping the line leading to Kevin Magnussen’s five Miami Grand Prix penalty points, Haas are comfortably ahead of eighth-placed Alpine.

That’s Ocon’s current team, who he will be leaving at the end of this season having mutually decided to end their five-year relationship.

The Frenchman has been heavily linked to Haas but while he has refuted reports that a deal has been signed, he has given arguably the biggest hint yet that’s where he’s leaning.

“They’ve been improving a lot which is for sure an example for every other team, how they’re doing it at the moment,” he told the media, including, after Haas’ P6 finish at the British Grand Prix through Nico Hulkenberg.

How Oliver Bearman’s Haas signing impacted the 2025 F1 grid

???? F1 2025 driver line-up: Who is already confirmed for the 2025 grid?

???? The seven drivers out of contract at the end of the F1 2024 season

Should Ocon head to Haas, he already knows his 2025 team-mate with the team having confirmed reserve driver Oliver Bearman will be promoted.

For now, Ocon insists he’s still in discussions about 2025 with no firm decision made.

“There’s nothing more to say on that,” he said. “We are obviously working on my future, there are good discussions going on and I hope that I will be able to announce very soon.”

But unlike other drivers, most notably Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas, who are waiting on Carlos Sainz, Ocon says his 2025 plans are not linked to the Ferrari driver’s decision regarding his next team.

“It has nothing to do with me, what Carlos is doing basically,” the 27-year-old said. “We’re managing our own things, and as I said, things are going well and I should be able to speak more in a couple races.”

Read next: Jenson Button urges ‘next race’ Sergio Perez deadline at Red Bull